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Degrees vs ring above Also, where am I?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:19 pm
by Stephen Hart
I'm putting this in General because it spans both macOS and iOs.

For several years I've been photographing insects at a particular spot on the Obstruction Point road, so I wanted to get latitude and longitude and altitude for that spot. In the past, I've taken coordinates from an iPhone photo, then gotten an altitude from Google Earth. Or you can just find the spot visually in Google Earth and get all three figures from Google Earth.
The current photos Google Earth has were taken at a time of year when the road is mostly covered in snow, mostly useless.

So I took a photo with my iPhone of the Cox Valley Trail sign on an earlier trip this year. But copying the coordinates into Google Earth showed me a spot in PA! On our most recent trip this week, I tried two strategies and compared them. I took the iPhone photo and used the iOS Compass app. Who knew the compass app showed latitude and longitude (and altitude)? It turns out that is one of those Apple inventions with hidden depths. Here's a site that tells you some. ... avigation/

But, standing there in the sun, I didn't see how to do anything with the data on the compass app. So I took several screenshots (lock button plus home button saves a screenshot).

What I found once I got home is that the iPhone (which is set for digital latitude and longitude measurements, eg. 47.968303° N 123.481667° W) came up with exactly the same location as the Compass app (47°58'5"N, 123°28'50"W 4900 ft Elevation), the correct location as far as I can tell in Google Earth. Apparently the iPhone got confusing data in the past instance. The site I referenced above may explain that discrepancy.

Anyway, a little research showed me that there are some ways to save the's data. You can take a screenshot, as I did. If you touch and hold the coordinates, you can copy (or speak) the data. You can then paste the data into a Note or email or wherever and you have it in text for later use. If you double tap the coordinates, Maps will open. That works perfectly for me at home, but in Maps, the coordinates are buried. Here's a tip for how to find them in text:

But wait! That's not all.

For years, I have been using a standard keyboard shortcut for the degree sign ˚, option K. This shortcut is mentioned on lots of web sites. Going from my screenshot, I needed to type the coordinates into Google Maps, using option K to get the degree symbol and it didn't work. I found Google's instructions, and everything looked like I'd done it right. But it still didn't work.
Some minutes later, I figured out what was going on. Option K does not make a degree symbol. It makes "ring above." Ring is the symbol Scandinavian languages use above certain letters. They look similar in print, but are not the same character. (You can't use this shortcut to make the characters you want, instead you use, for example, option a å. Option K produces a standalone ring above. Are you confused yet?)
Instead, the keyboard shortcut for degrees is option shift 8 (which kind of makes sense). I've made myself a few reminders.

Once I used the correct symbol, Google Earth was happy.

Re: Degrees vs ring above Also, where am I?

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:28 am
by JerryFreilich
Stephen, as always, you discovered a whole raft of fascinating detail here! I had never known anything about the compass app. With respect to the degree symbol, you might have also added the fact that in iOS on iPhones and iPads you get the degree symbol by (unintuitively) holding down the zero key until you see the little pop-up degree symbol. One would have thought that they'd make it an add-on to the numeral 8, star, degree-symbol key as on the Mac.

Re: Degrees vs ring above Also, where am I?

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:51 am
by Stephen Hart
I checked, and the iconic The Mac is not a Typewriter has the shortcut for the degree symbol right.

Here's a Wikipedia entry on the ring diacritic, with a bewildering amount of detail. I haven't see an explanation of when you need a ring above without associating it with a letter.


Re: Degrees vs ring above Also, where am I?

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:08 am
by JerryFreilich
Stephen... please put in the link you mentioned for the discussion of the ring diacritic! The only uses I know of for the ring-above (is that its proper name?) is when used with a letter. It is the international abbreviation for Angstroms Å and it is also used every day in Swedish (but not the other Scandinavian languages) where the letter å is pronounced "oh". (The Swedish letter "o" is pronounced "oo" as in "moon"). Interestingly, (an infuriatingly for Americans learning the language) the Swedish language considers ä, å and ö as separate letters in their alphabet and places them AFTER Z in dictionaries and alphabetical sorting schemes!

Re: Degrees vs ring above Also, where am I?

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:53 pm
by Stephen Hart
Stephen... please put in the link you mentioned for the discussion of the ring diacritic!

:oops: :oops:

It's apparently amateur hour here at Hart central.

Re: Degrees vs ring above Also, where am I?

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:00 pm
by Stephen Hart
I was wondering if the ring above character is used when discussing how certain languages use characters with a ring above.
Some diacriticals on a Mac work by typing the diacritical, which doesn't appear at all, then typing the character, which then appears with the diacritical above it. But in this case, the characters with ring above are one keyboard shortcut.

Yes, as far as I can tell, this character is called ring above. Here's the Emoji & Symbols sheet in the first screenshot. It's weird that this dialog doesn't give you the keyboard shortcut? I've added it in the first image.

By the way, if you type "ring" into the search box in Emoji & Symbols, it shows you many characters with rings and several different rings (but not the degree character). My favorite: