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A grid of squares helps the map-reader to locate a place. The vertical lines are called eastings. They are numbered – the numbers increase to the east.

## What are the grid references and why do we need them?

It is easy to find a particular place using a grid reference. To start, a four-figure grid reference is a handy way of identifying any square on a map. Grid references are easy if you can remember that you always have to go along the corridor before you go up the stairs.

What is the difference between coordinates and grid reference?

Grid references are between the lines which make it look like a maths square that has numbers. The difference between grid references and coordinates is that coordinates are where the lines meet and grid references are in between the lines.

### How do you read a grid reference on a map?

When taking a grid reference, always read left to right along the bottom or top of the map first and then bottom to top along the side of the map. This is particularly important in an emergency situation.

### Are Eastings vertical or horizontal?

The vertical lines are called eastings. They are numbered – the numbers increase to the east. The horizontal lines are called northings as the numbers increase in an northerly direction.

How accurate is a 6 digit grid?

Six figure grid references are commonly used for topographic maps with a scale of 1:50,000. On a 6-figure grid reference the last digit refers to a tenth of the distance between the 1km grid reference lines, so the reference is only accurate to within 100 metres.

#### How does a grid reference work on a map?

What is a grid reference? A grid reference tells you where something is on a map. There are two parts to a grid reference: The 1st letter or number tells you how far across the map something is.

#### Which is the first letter in a grid reference?

There are four main first letters: ‘S’, ‘T’, ‘N’ and ‘H’ covering Great Britain, plus an ‘O’ square covering a tiny part of North Yorkshire that is usually below tide. A unique National Grid reference should have this two-letter descriptor followed by the grid reference numbers within that square.

Is the national grid reference the same thing?

While the correct term for these is ‘National Grid reference’, these terms all mean the same thing; however, as we’ll see, grid references can be given in a number of different formats. Before we look at what the grid reference numbers mean, it’s important to understand the wider picture of the National Grid.

## Which is the correct grid reference for Scotland?

For example, you may be at grid reference ‘509 582’ in south-west Scotland. The complete grid reference you should quote would be ‘NX 509 582’ (without the letters the numeric reference would be repeated in every 100 km square). The romer lines marked on the base plate of most compasses can help you to get a more accurate grid reference.