Where Exactly Are You? Learn How to Display GPS Coordinates on Your iPhone Without a Third Party App

April 5, 2017 •

iphone compass

While you’re out and about, you can easily find out where you are, as long as you are carrying an iPhone and know your way around a few easily adjusted options on the device.

It’s true that you can navigate and find directions including GPS data using the Maps app, but if you want to see the exact GPS coordinates of wherever you happen to be at the moment, you can get this information without a third party app.

This is useful for people from all walks of life, including hikers, joggers, runners, snowboarders, skiers, geologists, real estate professionals and anyone else who needs precision in determining their current location. All you need to do is adjust the Compass app’s settings.

Getting GPS Coordinates with the Compass App

The built-in Compass app helps you get oriented by showing you where North is. But the app provides even better location information once you configure it:

Begin by tapping “Settings” from the iPhone’s home screen, and then tap “Privacy,” and “Location Services.” Enable the Compass to access location data.

Return to the home screen, and then tap the Compass app icon to launch Apple’s digital compass. You may need to calibrate the Compass app, by moving it in a figure-8 if prompted. Soon enough, the iPhone will show you what direction you’re facing, along with precise GPS coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds (“DMS” format) at the bottom of the display.

If you need to save the GPS details, you tap and hold on the coordinates and then select “Copy” from the menu that pops up. Then, you paste these coordinates into a document, such as in the Notes app or an email message.

To keep track of the location, you copy it into the Maps app, making a pin that you can refer to later. Saving info about your current GPS location enables you to tell your friends, simply by sharing a Maps location with them.

Now, if someone asks you where you are, you don’t have to reply with just the cross streets of your location. You can give them the exact coordinates from the GPS data in an instant.