Friday, September 15, 2017

Yannis Lolos and the GGRS87

I was fortunate to receive Yannis Lolos’ Land of Sikyon a few days ago.  This is an investigation of the territory formerly dominated by Sicyon in the western Corinthia.  Not only is the book a valuable reference but it’s a joy just as a physical object – a beautifully made book.

One of its features is a gazetteer of all the find spots in the territory of Sicyon from the Neolithic to the Early Modern.  Each place is described and precisely located.  Only one problem.  Dr. Lolos’ does not give the coordinates in ordinary lat/lon form (technically the WGS84 projection) but in the Greek Grid system (GGRS87/EGSA87) which will be incomprehensible to most readers.  

What to do?

I found an easy-to-use site that will allow you to convert coordinate pairs from the GGRS87 projection to the WGS84 (what humans use).  It is here: 

To use this site you enter the GGRS coordinates in the upper right-hand box separated by commas.  You press the convert button and the lat/lon pair shows up in the upper left-hand box.  

So let's use a little Mycenaean settlement called 'Klimenti, Mastrogianni'  (Lolos [2011], p. 425, 'HS-11', 'Klimenti, Mastrogianni') as an example.  This is a small area (about 0.7 ha.) for which Dr. Lolos gives us the four corner points in GGRS 87 easting/northing pairs.  The first coordinate is 376799, 4203582.  You enter it into the conversion interface like this:

The conversion screen.  Enter the GGRS pair in the  right upper window (center),
press the 'Convert' button, and read the lat/lon (WGS84) pair in the upper left window.

The illustration shows you the conversion process for that point.  It maps to point 1 in this Google Earth image:

Four corner points for the site of Klimenti, Mastrogianni (HS-11).
Coordinates are numbered in the order in which Lolos presents them on p. 425.

Our first coordinate is the white arrow numbered '1' in the image above.   The set of four coordinates is this:

                    Easting                  Northing                    Lat                 Lon
376799 4203582 37.97412198 22.59898503
376648 4203590 37.97417358 22.59726491
376653 4203631 37.97454367 22.59731479
376800 4203636 37.97460867 22.59898716

The 'file' button on this interface allows you to save a set of converted lat/lon pairs that have been converted to GGRS87 but I don't see that there's a way to create a file of GGRS87 points and have them converted all at once to WGS84.

I find an algorithm for converting from WGS84 to the Greek system at this web page:

This would have to be coded if I wanted, for example, to add the GGRS87 coordinate pairs to the 2000+ points in the Mycenaean Atlas Project, for example.  

I'll think about it.

Status of the Mycenaean Atlas Project:

I uploaded a new DB to  The specifications are: 

Database Update: Rev. 36. (MAP_Rev_0.036__09_13_17_Test)

Of the 1500 points in Dr. Murray's DB that I have targetted for initial integration I have completed about 1200.  There are currently 2055 separate sites in the Mycenaean Atlas Project DB.

Anyone who would like to have a copy of the MAP database can send an e-mail to bobconsoli 'at' or leave a comment on any of my posts.  To run the MAP database requires a SQL server running on your desktop computer.   MySQL is such a server and it is powerful, industry-standard, and free.   Anyone who has a version of the DB from more than a month ago should request a new one.

I can and will make .kml or .kmz files, which can be opened directly in Google Earth, available to those who would like them.
I can also create .csv files for people who would like to import Mycenaean Atlas Project data into Google Earth but would like it in tabular form.  I do recommend that you use the website at      Most of your needs can probably be met on that site and you can generate .kmz files for maps that you create.

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Lolos [2011]:      Lolos, Yannis A.   Land of Sikyon: Archaeology and History of a Greek City-State. Hesperia supplements, 39.   Princeton:  American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2011.

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