False Origin

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False origin is a selected point on a map's grid system from which the coordinates of any point in the map area are measured. The false origin differs from the true origin in order to exclude negative values from the coordinates. [1]

A false origin moves the starting place of the x,y coordinates in order to make the map coordinates easier to read on the given map.

A false origin is used in order to make finding map coordinates easier on a map. Usually it is brought down to the lower left of the map so all of the x,y coordinates are positive.

A false easting and northing are used in the Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system to prevent the use of negative numbers.


  1. http://www.delorme.com/glossary.aspx, DeLorme Mapmakers.