Military Grid Reference System (MGRS)


The Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) provides a means to represent any location on the surface of the Earth using an alphanumeric string.  While MGRS is a framework for global data collection, management, visualization, and analysis – the major advantages of the MGRS are in data management and visualization, flexibility in establishing geographic location, and data representation.

Currently, there is no centralized database to provide MGRS grids worldwide, therefore, the GeoPlan Center’s MGRS site serves as a Library for MGRS Data and Information – which is referenced in the U.S. National Grid Information Center. The Geoplan proudly operates this open data source for researchers, professionals, and all other users.

While the MGRS was originally used for military purposes, the spatial framework is used in a variety of disciplines – ranging from organizing disaster response, to documenting ornithology clusters. Case studies that employ the MGRS often document spatial and temporal variations, clusters, and other data that ranges over large numbers of time, surface area, or volume.

The data available through the MGRS Website and the MGRS Lookup Tool is packaged in a zipped File GeoDataBase (FGDB) which has been compressed using ArcCatalog.