How does longitude and latitude work?
(Posted by: Jane on 2012-04-08 16:54:14)
How to figure it out using a map. like if i was given the numbers how would i figure it out by using a map?? please help
Longitude are the numbers that go east to west and latitude is north to south
If you imagine a grid-work laid over the earths surface, these are your longitudinal and latitudinal lines. The latitudinal lines, as their name suggests, are laid laterally. The equator is a latitudinal line. The longitudinal lines are vertical, stretching from pole to pole. Just as if these lines were on an x-y plane like in math, certain coordinates correspond to a particular point. The only difference being that, on a sphere such as a globe, increasing values of the x coordinate will eventually lead back to the start (this would be one entire revolution of the planet. Latitudinal lines are used to denote how far north or south of the equator a point is, and something that is directly on the equator is at 0 degrees latitude. Longitude is used to denote how far east or west of the prime meridian a point is. The prime meridian goes right though europe (specifically germany and the UK). This works in the same way that the latitudinal lines do. Latitudinal Something that is at 0 degrees N/ S is on the equator. Something 90 degrees N is at the north pole Something 90 degrees S is at the south pole Longitudinal Something at 0 degrees E/ W is on the prime meridian Something at 180 degrees E/ W is directly opposite the prime meridian (other side of the earth) These work this way because of circular and spherical geometries that unfortunately i am uncomfortable with explaining without a diagrams for fear that they will make this sound more complicated than they are. The coordinates can be expressed in fractions of a degree or in degrees-minutes-seconds. If you see three numbers with ' or " on them, thats a good indicator that it is in minutes-seconds. This may look intimidating, but it is actually quite simple. If you imagine that a degree is composed of 60 minutes (weird, I know) then each minute is 1/ 60 of a degree. Translation. 30.5 degrees could be transcribed as 30 degrees, 30 minutes (because just as .5 is half of 1, 30 minutes is half of 1 degree). seconds work the same way, only instead we are talking about 1 minute being composed of 60 seconds.