Geographic coordinates of a place have an advantage that geographic names lack: names change but the coordinates do not; Bombay, for example, became Mumbai but remains at 18°55′ N, 72°54′ E. But then, I was amused to find that although the coordinates remain the same, different style guides choose to render them differently. The differences are trivial – as matters of publication style often are – and relate mainly to abbreviations and spacing. (All the guides agree, however, that latitudes precede longitudes.)
I turned first to the National Geographic Style Manual , and this is what it says. Latitude is always given first; in most cases use symbols and give the latitude and longitude in degrees or degrees and minutes (rarely is it necessary to give seconds).
latitude 72° 54' N, longitude 165° 53' W
72° 54' N, 165° 53' W (note spaces and comma)
21° N; 21° north; 21° north latitude’
Next, I consulted the guide I use most often, namely Scientific Style and Format, and found that it specifically omits the spaces .
Latitude is given 1st, then, after a comma, longitude; the abbreviation of each precedes its coordinate, whose numbers (2 digits) are written without spaces.
lat 43°15’09”N, long 116°40’18”E lat 04°59’17”S, long 01°0203”E
The style guide of American Society of Agronomy introduced a minor variation, namely dispensing with the abbreviations lat and long when both are given, and also made it clear through examples that the values are to be given in two digits (notice the double zeros in the examples below) :
Use the abbreviations "lat" and "long" with geographical coordinates (e.g., 30° N lat; 89°24′04″ N lat; 30° W long). Omit the abbreviations when both coordinates are given (12°39′ N, 8°00′ W; 27°33′00″ S, 151°58′00″ E).
The two leading guides from the UK, namely Butcher’s Copy-editing and New Hart’s Rules, put the spaces back but the first of these added yet another piece of advice, namely that since the symbols for the degree (°) and the minute (′) are set as superscripts, they should be placed to the left of the decimal point as shown below. ‘This applies to coordinates in angular measure’ .
21° 7′ 30″ or 21° 7′.5 or 21°.125
New Hart’s Rules mentions that in coordinates, the symbols (degrees, seconds, etc.) are set close up to the figure, not the compass point , as shown below. However, I notice that the comma between the latitude and the longitude is skipped.
52 ° N 15° 7′ 5″ W
 National Geographic Style Manual. https://sites.google.com/a/ngs.org/
 Style Manual Committee [Council of Science Editors]. 2006. Scientific Style and Format, 6th edn, p. 240. Cambridge University Press [for CSE]
 American Society of Agronomy. Publications Handbook and Style Manual., p. 2-03 <www.agronomy.org/files/publications/style/ chapter-02.pdf>
 Butcher J, Drake C, and Leach M. 2006. Butcher’s Copy-editing: the Cambridge handbook for editors, copy-editors and proofreaders, p. 325. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
 OUP. 2005. New Hart’s Rules: the handbook of style for writers and editors, p. 173. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
["Publish and prosper" is a series of posts about tips for researchers whose first language is not English but who submit papers to journals published in English. The series touches upon not only writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and style) but everything else relevant to publishing research papers that journal editors wish their authors knew.]