What are Latitude and Longitude?

Use the search bar to find what you're looking for!

What Does Latitude and longitude Mean

We explain what latitude and longitude are, how they are used and represented. Also, coordinates of different cities.

Parallels and meridians allow you to calculate latitude and longitude coordinates.

What are latitude and longitude?

Latitude and longitude are the two types of angular geographic coordinates that make up the planetary reference system with which we can locate any point on the surface of planet Earth . This system is used by technologies such as GPS ( Global Positioning System ).

The coordinate system that makes up latitude and longitude, known as the Geographic Coordinate System, has the center of the Earth as its imaginary center and expresses its values in sexagesimal degrees, accompanied by a letter that indicates the cardinal orientation within the globe: North, South, East or West.

Thus, the latitude is the angle imaginary occupies a point from the Ecuador (the imaginary line that divides the world into two hemispheres: North and South), if we draw a line from your location to the center of the Earth. Latitude is symbolized by the Greek letter phi, ϕ.

In other words, it is about how far or how close a reference point is to the equator, and to the tropics that are parallel to it: the Tropics of Cancer and the Tropics of Capricorn. Parallels serve as a reference for calculating latitude .

Instead, the longitude is a similar imaginary angle, but determined by the Meridian of Greenwich or Meridian 0, that crosses the locality of the same name in London, England, where the English Royal Observatory is located.

This meridian divides the world into two regions , the western (West) and the eastern (East). It is used to trace the other meridians that imaginary cross the globe parallel to the reference meridian. Longitude is symbolized by the Greek letter lambda, λ.

Thus, counting on the latitude and longitude coordinates of a point, we can locate it geographically on the grid that make up the meridians and parallels . The absolute position is the combinatorial of coordinates that locates a point on the earth's surface .

On the other hand, if we compare the location of one point with that of another (of which we generally know its absolute position), we will be talking about relative position.

In both cases, this information is usually noted in parentheses, distinguishing between degrees, minutes and seconds for both latitude and longitude. For example:

Point X (66 ° 33 '9' 'N; 11 ° 04' 13''E)

It reads as follows: 66 degrees, 33 minutes, 9 seconds north latitude, 11 degrees, 4 minutes, 13 seconds east longitude. It is possible to find in some cases the letter W instead of O for west, since it is the English term (West).

It can help you: Cartography

Examples of geographic coordinates

The geographical coordinates of the main cities in the world are:

  • London, England (51 ° 30 '30' 'N; 0 ° 7' 32 '' W)
  • Berlin, Germany (52 ° 31 '28' 'N; 13 ° 24' 38 '' E)
  • Paris, France (48 ° 51 '12' 'N; 02 ° 20' 56 '' E)
  • Madrid, Spain (40 ° 24 '59' 'N; 03 ° 42' 09 '' W)
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (34 ° 36 '47' 'S; 58 ° 22' 38 '' W)
  • Lima, Peru (12 ° 02 '35' 'S; 77 ° 01' 42 '' W)
  • Mexico City, Mexico (19 ° 25 '42' 'N; 99 ° 07' 40 '' W)
  • Cairo, Egypt (30 ° 03 '45' 'N; 31 ° 14' 59 '' E)
  • Moscow, Russia (55 ° 45 '8' 'N; 37 ° 36' 56 '' E) bn
  • Tokyo, Japan (35 ° 36 '54' 'N; 139 ° 41' 30 '' E)
  • Hong Kong, China (22 ° 15 '00' 'N; 114 ° 10' 00 '' E)

Continue with: Time Zones

Go up

This website uses third-party cookies