Decimal degrees is a system of expressing geographic coordinates using a decimal format, rather than using degrees, minutes, and seconds.
In the decimal degrees system, latitude and longitude are measured in degrees, with the equator and the prime meridian serving as the zero point for each. The degrees are then divided into decimal fractions of a degree, allowing for more precise measurements. For example, instead of expressing a location as 45 degrees, 30 minutes, 15 seconds north and 73 degrees, 15 minutes, 30 seconds west, it can be expressed as 45.5042 degrees north and 73.2583 degrees west.
This system is commonly used in GPS and other navigation systems, as well as in online mapping tools and geocaching. It allows for greater accuracy and ease of use compared to traditional degree-minute-second notation, which can be more difficult to read and compute.
Decimal degrees are typically expressed with a positive number for locations north of the equator and east of the prime meridian, and negative numbers for locations south of the equator and west of the prime meridian.