Latitude and Longitude: What are They?

Discover the secrets of the Focus with coordinates: the ABC of every explorer!

The geographical coordinates are tools that are used to identify a point in space or, more specifically, on the earth’s surface.

How do such as cartographers to define the exact location on a geographical map? Thanks to these coordinates that offer the right reference points for correct measurement. Even the satellite navigation GPS they use these coordinates to guide motorists!

Latitude and longitude

Image Source: Google Image

Latitude and Longitude

Latitude and longitude are the main coordinates that use those imaginary lines called parallels and meridians that are used by geographers to “cut into portions” of the earth’s surface. Both are measured in degrees.

NOTE: Remember that the Earth is not flat and then to play it in two dimensions (like a map), serving calculations based on so-called angular sizes, i.e. distances formed by the angle created by his senses coming from the observer to a point of space.

You may also like to read another article on LananClub: How to study math: 7 techniques multiply your note


It represents the angular distance of a point from the equator (which in fact has latitude 0 °). To know the latitude of the place where you are you can watch the ‘ height of the Polar Star from the point of observation: it always coincides with the latitude.

The latitude of the North Pole is + 90 ° while the South Pole is -90°.


It indicates the angular distance of a point from the Meridian 0 (or Greenwich meridian or fundamental Meridian). To the right of the Greenwich meridian there are the longitudes east, while to the left you calculate longitudes West.

The local time can help us to determine longitude: every 4 minutes the Earth moves one degree. If the time of the place in which we find ourselves is greater than the Greenwich Mean Time, (precisely where it passes the meridian) then we have a East longitude, but if the time is less, we are in the West.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *