# Convert milliarcseconds to degrees

Posted on in programming

Milliarcseconds (mas) are a precise angular measurement unit used in astronomy and geodesy, critical for high-precision GPS software. Understanding how to handle milliarcseconds and convert them to degrees is essential for integrating GPS data with applications like Google Maps.

## Understanding Milliarcseconds

An arcsecond (arcsec) is 1/3600 of a degree, and a milliarcsecond is 1/1000 of an arcsecond. Therefore, 1 mas is 1/3,600,000 of a degree. This level of precision is necessary for high-accuracy applications, such as satellite positioning and astronomical measurements.

## Conversion Formula

To convert milliarcseconds to degrees, use the following formula:

## Example Conversion

Let's convert 150,000 mas to degrees:

## Application in GPS Software

In GPS software, accurate positional data is critical. Here's how to use milliarcseconds in such software:

1. Data Collection: GPS devices often provide data in various units, including mas for high precision. Ensure your software can handle these inputs.
2. Conversion to Degrees: For compatibility with applications like Google Maps, convert mas to degrees. This can be done programmatically as follows:

def mas_to_degrees(mas):
return mas / 3600000

milliarcseconds = 150000
degrees = mas_to_degrees(milliarcseconds)
print(f"{milliarcseconds} mas is {degrees} degrees")

3. Integration with Google Maps: Google Maps API requires latitude and longitude in degrees. After converting mas to degrees, you can use the data to plot points, calculate distances, or perform other geospatial analyses.

## Practical Implementation

Here’s a step-by-step example of how to integrate this conversion in a Python script:

import googlemaps

# Function to convert milliarcseconds to degrees
def mas_to_degrees(mas):
return mas / 3600000

# Example coordinates in milliarcseconds
latitude_mas = 123456789
longitude_mas = 987654321

# Convert to degrees
latitude_deg = mas_to_degrees(latitude_mas)
longitude_deg = mas_to_degrees(longitude_mas)

# Print the results
print(f"Latitude: {latitude_deg} degrees")
print(f"Longitude: {longitude_deg} degrees")


Replace 'YOUR_API_KEY' with your actual Google Maps API key. This script converts GPS coordinates from mas to degrees and generates a Google Maps URL to visualize the location.