Latitude and Longitude

When we describe the Earth in spherical collaborates it is called Geographic, or Un-projected. The most common mechanism for locating points on the earth is through "Longitudes" and also "Latitudes". Both longitude and also latitude are angles measured with the center of the earth as an beginning. A longitude is an angle from the prime merdian, measured to the east (longitudes to the west are negative). Latitudes measure an angle up from the equator (latitudes to the southern are negative).

You are watching: Lines of latitude are also called parallels why

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Figure 1. With an angle of longitude and also an angle of latitude, we can situate any kind of suggest on the surconfront of the earth.

Merdians and Parallels

You"ve viewed lines running throughout maps your totality life and may not have noticed them. The lines running North to South are called "Meridians" or "lines of longitude" (Figure 2), while the lines running East to West are referred to as "Parallels" or "lines of latitude" (Figure 3).

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Figure 2. Meridians or "Lines of Longitude" and degree readings for longitudes in increments of 30 degrees.

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Figure3. Parallels or "Lines of Latitude" and level readings for latitudes in increments of 30 degrees.

Note that the lines are parallel when we look at the earth from the equator. If we look at them from the poles, they show up circular.

Latitude and Longitude Defined

The latitude is the angle developed by a line going from the facility of the earth to the equator at the allude on the equator that is closed to the suggest of interemainder and another line that goes from the facility of the earth to the parallel that goes with the allude of interemainder.

The longitude is the angle developed by a line that goes through the center of the earth and the equator wbelow the longitude=0 and another line that goes with the center of the earth and also a line via the equator and the meridian that goes with the point of interest.

Versions of Longitude and also Latitude

There are different ways of expushing longitude and also latitude values.

Longitude: -180° to 180°

The system we will job-related with the most encodes longitude from -180° in the middle of the Pacific to 0° at the Prime Meridian, which runs via Greenwich, England and also back to 180° in the middle of the Pacific.

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Longitude: 180° W to 180° E

Another common and older way of encoding longitude is from 180° West to 180° East.

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Latitude: 90° to -90°

The mechanism we will certainly job-related via the majority of encodes latitude from 90° to -90°.

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Latitude: 90° N to 90° S

Another widespread means of encoding latitude is from 90° N to 90° S.