User Manual
Version 1.00
November 2010


1 Introduction
2 Getting started
3 Graphical User Interface
4 References

1. Introduction

1.1 Features

SuperTrans is a matlab based computer program that can convert coordinates from one coordinate system to another. The basis of this system is the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Dataset, which contains a lot of coordinate system definitions. The EPSG database is freely available at

The program is capable of the following:

  • convert between geographic (lat/lon) coordinate systems;
  • convert between projected coordinate systems;
  • convert between projected and geographic coordinate systems;
  • conversion of single coordinates;
  • conversion of files (*.ldb, *.pol, *.xyz, *.grd).

The functionalities of SuperTrans are also accessible via the Matlab toolbox 'Coordinate Conversion'. With this toolbox, coordinate conversion can be performed from Matlabs command line. Joining OpenEarth will give acces to these tools, or the toolbox can be downloaded here.

1.2 EPSG data set

The European Petroleum Survey Group or EPSG (1986 - 2005) was a scientific organization with ties to the European petroleum industry consisting of specialists working in applied geodesy, surveying, and cartography related to oil exploration. EPSG compiled and disseminated the EPSG Geodetic Parameter Set, a widely used database of Earth ellipsoids, geodetic datums, geographic and projected coordinate systems, units of measurement, etc. The role of EPSG was taken over in 2005 by the newly formed OGP Surveying and Positioning Committee.

The Geodetic Parameter Set continues to be known as EPSG Geodetic Parameter Data Set and is accessible through a web interface and published by OGP in Microsoft Access database format. The database structure claims to be compliant with ISO 19111 Geographic information - Spatial referencing by coordinates. The downloadable database gets updated approximately three to four times a year, with intermediate versions. The EPSG tables define numeric identifiers (the EPSG code) for many common projections and associate projection or coordinate metadata (such as measurement units or central meridian) for each identifier.

For more information, see:

2. Getting Started

2.1 MCR installer

Before installing SuperTrans, make sure that the Matlab Compiler Runtime (MCR) v7.11 has been installed on your system.If you already have other OpenEarth programs installed, this is probably the case. If not, you can download the MCR installer from this website. After downloading, install the MCR and reboot your system.

2.2 Installing SuperTrans

Download the SuperTrans installer (SuperTrans.msi) from the download section of the SuperTrans product page. After downloading, execute SuperTrans.msi to start the installation (see figure below). The installer will guide you through the installation process. If the installation of MCR is not found on your system, the SuperTrans installation will be canceled automatically.

2.3 Starting SuperTrans

You can start SuperTrans through the windows start menu (Start > Programs > SuperTrans > SuperTrans). It will open the SuperTrans Graphical User Interface. Besides, a dos box is opened, which shows verbose output (messages, warnings or errors) from the program will appear.

3 Graphical User Interface

3.1 Introduction

This chapter describes the Graphical User Interface of SuperTrans. First, the items of the main screen are discussed. Next, the menu will be described.

3.2 Main screen

The following figure shows the main screen of SuperTrans. Four areas A, B, C and D have been indicated which will be further elaborated below.

Area A & B
Because the program lets you convert coordinates between two coordinate systems, you will need to specify which systems to use. The two coordinate systems can be selected in Area A and B. First you have to specify what kind of coordinate system you want to use. The two options are:

  1. Eastings / Northings; select this option for projected coordinates systems
  2. Latitude / Longitude; select this option for geographical coordinate systems

The listbox shows the available coordinate systems for the chosen coordinate system type. Below the listbox, information is provided about the selected coordinate system. Because the database with available coordinate systems is quite extensive, a search option has been built in. The search function is called by pressing the ?-button next to the listbox. A new window will be opened (see figure below). Enter a search string in the search-field and press enter to get the results listed. Then, select the system you were looking for and press Ok.

Area C
For coordinate transformations between systems with different datum definitions, a datum transformation will be performed by SuperTrans. For some datum transformations, the EPSG database provides multiple transformation methods. In this section of the screen, you are able to select which datum transformation method you want to use. The various options can be selected from the listbox. By default, the program selects the most recent method available. Below this listbox, information about the selected method is provided.

Next to the listbox, you will find two buttons 'A' and 'B'. If only button 'A' is enabled, a direct datum transformation is possible between the two coordinate systems (with different datum definitions). But for the majority of datum transformations, no direct datum transformation is possible, and the transformation goes via the system WGS 84. In such a case, both button 'A' and 'B' will be available. By pressing button 'A', you can select the datum transformation method between coordinate system A (as selected in Area A) and WGS 84. By pressing button 'B', you can select the datum transformation method between coordinate system B (as selected in Area B).

Area D
In the lower part of the screen, you can specify the coordinates that must be converted. Note that for the 'Eastings / Northings' type, you have to specify a X and Y coordinate, while for the' Latitude / Longitude' you have to specify the latitude and longitude in decimal degrees. By pressing one of the convert button, the coordinates will be converted. It is possible to convert from system A to B and vice versa.

3.3 Menu

In the menu (below the title bar), three items are present. By clicking 'File Convert', the file conversion sub-menu is opened. From this menu, it is possible to convert coordinates in a file from one system to another. Before performing a file conversion, make sure you have selected the correct input and output coordinate systems and a datum transformation method as described above. File conversion is possible from system A to B and vice versa. At this moment, three file formats can be converted:

  • tekal files of the type *.ldb and *.pol
  • samples files of the type *.xyz
  • Delft3D grid file of the type *.grd

After selecting file conversion, you will be asked to select a input file to open. After you have selected this file and clicked on the 'Open' button, the conversion will be carried out instantly and a new dialog opens in which you can specify where to save the output file.

The second menu item 'Manage' is not yet operational.

The third menu item 'Help' contains links to this online manual and to the EPSG Geodetic Parameter online Registry. It also has an 'About' option, which will show information about the program (license, version, author).

4. References

Below is a list of relevant references: