Definition of Latitude Longitude and The Grid

These Geography Notes will help you understand the basic definitions and properties Latitude and Longitude.

Latitudes Definition

  • The lines that run parallel to the equator.
  • These lines are called Parallels or Latitudes.
  • They are numbered from zero degrees to 90 degrees, the equator is at 0 degrees.
  • The North Pole is at 90 degrees North and the South Pole is at 90 degrees South.

The other important Latitudes are-

  1. The Tropic of Cancer
  2. The Tropic of Capricorn
  3. The Arctic Circle
  4. The Antarctic Circle

Properties of Latitudes

  • The Equator is the largest latitude. It is also called the Great Circle.
  • Latitudes don’t touch or cut each other.
  • All latitudes are complete circles, except the North Pole and the South Pole which are points.
  • All latitudes are located at an equal distance from each other.
  • There are 181 latitudes.
  • Latitudes are marked in degrees (°) and minutes (‘), where 60’ = 1°.

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Longitudes Definitions

  • The semi-circles running from the North Pole to the South Pole are called Longitudes or Meridians.
  • The word Meridian means ‘midday’.
  • Longitudes are equal in length, unlike the Latitudes.
  • They are 360 in numbers.
  • The Meridian passing through Greenwich near London is taken as a 0-degree meridian.
  • This Meridian is also called the Prime Meridian.
  • Meridians to the East of Prime Meridians are called East Meridians and those to the West are called West Meridians.
  • There are 180 meridians to the east of the Prime Meridian and 180 meridians to the west of the Prime Meridian.
  • India is located to the east of the Prime Meridian.

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Properties of Longitudes

  • All Longitudes are equal in length.
  • Longitudes cross the latitude at right angles.
  • The distance between any two longitudes decreases as one moves away from the equator towards the Poles.
  • Longitudes are marked in degrees and minutes.

The Grid System

  • The longitudes and longitudes intersect each other and form squares called Grids.
  • This network of Grids is known as the Grid System.
  • It helps us to locate places accurately on the globe and maps.
  • The point that crosses each other will be the location of that place.

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