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Where Is Bohemian National Cemetery ?

Where is Bohemian National Cemetery? The answer for the post office is:

5255 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois 60630

If you are a Chicagoan you might say

"It's on Pulaski just north of Foster"
chicago area map

If you are telling a cabbie you might say

"52 hundred north and 40 hundred west "


Chicago uses a grid system based on a N-S divider at Madison Street and an E-W divider at State street. There are 8 blocks per mile in Chicago's system so BNC is 52 blocks (6 1/2 mi) north of Madison and 40 blocks (5 mi) west of State.

If you were buying or selling land you would use the township and range system. Before Chicago was platted the area was surveyed using the township and range system. This area uses a N-S dividing baseline called the Illinois Baseline and meridian Centralia baseline and an E-W divider called the 3rd principle meridian. The system divides the area into 6 mile squares called townships bounded by township lines (dividing N-S ) and range lines (E-W dividers).


BNC is 40 townships (240mi) north of the Centralia baseline and 13 (78 mi) east of the 3rd principle meridian so it is Township 40N, Range 13E. sections xsec

Each township is divided into 1 mile numbered squares called sections containing 640 acres. Each section is divided into quarter sections (160acres) and each quarter may be divided into quarters (40 acres). If you hear somebody talk about "the back 40" they are refering to one of those 1/4 of a1/4 of a section.

The gate of Bohemian National Cemetery is in the SW quarter of the NW quarter of section 11 in township 40 North and Range 13 East or:

SW¼, NW¼, sec.11, T40N, R13E

If you were talking to a navigator you might use the latitude and longitude coordinates based on the poles and the equator. BNC is 41.978 degrees north of the equator (2900 mi) and 87.728 degrees west of the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England (6000 mi). So, BNC is

latitude and longitude

41.978° N,  87.728°W


If you were talking to a GPS satellite (which has no fear of mathematics) you might use the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system. In this system the earth is divided into 60 zones from pole to pole. Each zone has a midline arbitrarily given the value 500,000 meters. The east - west location is given by the meters from that line, less than 500,000 if east, and more than 500,000 if west. This number is called the Easting. The north or south is given by the number of meters from the equator.This number is called the Northing.UTM zone map

Your satellite believes BNC is in zone 16, 439687 meters relative to the 500,000 meter midline and 4647589 meters North of the equator so BNC is:

16 439687E 4647589N

Whether any of this is an improvement on "go down the road to the big oak tree and turn left til you get to the creek", I'll leave you to decide.

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