# What are Latitudes and Longitudes?

Latitude & Longitude - These are imaginary lines drawn on the globe.

Lines running east and west, parallel to the equator - These are called Lines/Parallels of * latitude*.

Lines running north and south passing through the poles - These are called Lines/Meridians of **longitude**

The intersection of latitude and longitude pin-points any place on the earth’s surface.

**Table of Contents**

- Latitude
- Longitude
- Coordinates

## Latitude

Latitude - * angular distance* (in degrees) of a point on the earth’s surface

*.*

**from the centre of the earth**- Latitude lines or Parallels are parallel to the equator.
- They are circles which get smaller polewards.
- The equator represents 0° and the North and South Poles are 90°N and 90°S.
- Average linear distance of a degree of latitude = 69 miles (111 km)
- As the earth is slightly flattened at the poles, the linear distance of a degree of latitude at the pole is a little longer than that at the equator.
- Each degree is sub-divided into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds.

### The most important lines of latitude:

## Longitude

Longitude - * angular distance* (in degrees) of a place east or west of the

*.*

**Prime Meridian****Prime Meridian / Greenwich Meridian**

Zero meridian (0°) passes through the Royal Astronomical Observatory at Greenwich, near London.

All other meridians radiate eastward and westwards up to 180° from Prime Meridian.

- Lines of longitude/Meridians are a series of semi-circles that run from pole to pole (in a north-south direction) passing through the equator at right angles.
- Unlike latitudes, they are all equal in length.
- 1° of longitude = 69.1 miles at the equator and 1° of longitude = 0 miles at the poles.
- They determine local time in relation to Greenwich Mean Time (G.M.T.)/World Time.

## Coordinates

The combination of meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude establishes a **framework or grid**.

Using this grid we can determine exact positions of any place **in reference to the Prime meridian and the Equator**.

To provide a geographic location of a place using latitude and longitude - **Coordinates** are used.

The latitude has the symbol of phi (Φ) & the longitude has the symbol of lambda (λ).

Latitude is always written first.

For example:

A point - 40° N, 30° E

It will be located 40° north of the Equator and 30° east of the Prime meridian.

To be even more precise - we should use minutes, and seconds along with degrees.

A point - 40° 35′ 26′′ N, 30° 12′ 38′′ E