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Understanding Latitude & Longitude

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Typical Graph This is an example of a typical graph we are all familiar with. The graph is made up of different “points” with lines that connect the points.

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**Typical Graph Each point has two values:**

The “X” value that runs along the horizontal “X” axis The “Y” value that runs along the vertical “Y” axis Y axis X axis

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**Typical Graph X value is always stated first Followed by the Y value**

The “origin” is the point where the 2 axes intersect with a value of (0,0) (3,8) (9,5) Y X (0,0)

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**Typical Graph A point can also have negative (-) values**

Negative X values are to the left of the origin (0,0) Negative Y values are below the origin Y (-X,+Y) (+X,+Y) (0,0) X (-X,-Y) (+X,-Y)

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**Equator and Prime Meridian**

0o Longitude – Prime Meridian 0o Latitude - Equator Let the X axis be the Equator. Let the Y axis be the Prime Meridian that runs through Greenwich England Lat/Long are the 2 coordinate lines by which you can locate any point on Earth.

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**North, South, East and West on the Earth**

Let each of the four quarters then be designated by North or South and East or West.

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**North, South, East and West on the Earth**

The N tells us we’re north of the Equator. The S tells us we’re south of the Equator. The E tells us that we’re east of the Prime Meridian. The W tells us that we’re west of the Prime Meridian. (N, W) (N, E) (S, W) (S, E)

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**North, South, East and West on the Earth**

That means all points in North America will have a North latitude and a West longitude because it is North of the Equator and West of the Prime Meridian. What about New York? (N, W) Equator Prime Meridian

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**North, South, East and West on the Earth**

Equator What would be the latitude and longitude directions in Australia? ? Prime Meridian If you said South and East , you’re right!

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What is Latitude? Latitude is the distance from the equator along the Y axis. All points along the equator have a value of 0 degrees latitude. North pole = 90°N South pole = 90°S Values are expressed in terms of degrees. 90°N Y X 90°S

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**What is Latitude? All latitude lines are parallel to the equator.**

Y All latitude lines are parallel to the equator. These lines are also called parallels. X 90°S

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What is Longitude? Longitude is the distance from the prime meridian along the X axis. All points along the prime meridian have a value of 0 degrees longitude. The earth is divided into two parts, or hemispheres, of east and west longitude. Y X W E 180° 180°

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What is Longitude? Longitude lines are also called meridians but are NOT parallel to each other. All longitude lines begin at the North Pole and end at the South Pole.

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**So how do we find a position on Earth?**

The latitude line is named first along with its compass direction Longitude is named next along with its compass direction For instance – “A” is 20oS, 100oE

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**See If You Can Tell In Which Quarter These Coordinates Are Located**

1. 41°N, 21°E 2. 37°N, 76°W 3. 72°S, 141°W 4. 7°S, 23°W 5. 15°N, 29°E 6. 34°S, 151°E A B D C

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Let's See How You Did! 1. B 2. A 3. C 4. C 5. B 6. D

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**See if you can find those same latitude/longitude locations on a map!**

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In Summary!

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**Positioning on the Earth’s Surface**

East is the direction of rotation of the Earth Equator Latitude 0o Latitude: (90oN to 90oS) North Pole South Pole Prime Meridian 0o Longitude Longitude: (180oE to 180oW) Longitude 60o West Longitude 30o West Longitude 60o East 90o Longitude 30o East 66½o Latitude 23½o North Tropic of Cancer 23½o 21st June 22nd December 22nd Sept 20th March 90oW 60oW 30oW 90oE 30oE 60oE 23½o 900 Latitude 23½o South Tropic of Capricorn Longitude 90o West Longitude 90oEast Latitude and Longitude together enable the fixing of position on the Earth’s surface.

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**Now you’re ready to find some locations on a map!**

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