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Latitude and Longitude

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Introduction to Latitude and Longitude

Geographic coordinates are the latitudes and longitudes of a location. They create a systematic network of lines that may be used to indicate the position of numerous earth surface features. The location, distance, and direction of numerous points can be easily established using these coordinates. Two reference lines, known as latitude and longitude, determine the places on the Earth's surface. The many differences between latitude and longitude are listed in the table below.

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What is Latitude?

A geographic coordinate that indicates the north-south position of a point on the Earth's surface is known as latitude. The term "latitude" refers to an angle that extends from 0° at the Equator to 90° (North or South) at the poles. As circles parallel to the equator, parallels or lines of constant latitude run east-west. The terminology latitude and longitude are used to describe the exact location of features on the surface of the Earth. The term latitude should be used to refer to the geodetic latitude, which is explained below. In a nutshell, geodetic latitude is the angle formed between a point and the equatorial plane by a vector perpendicular to the ellipsoidal surface.

What is Longitude?

The east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface, or the surface of a celestial body, is specified by longitude. The Greek letter lambda represents an angular measurement. It is commonly given in degrees. Meridians (lines that run from pole to pole) link sites of the same longitude together. By agreement, the prime meridian passes near the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, and is designated as 0° longitude. Longitudes that are positive are east of the prime meridian, whereas those that are negative are west.

Longitude and time are inextricably related due to the earth's rotation. Local time changes with longitude, with a 15-degree shift in longitude equating to a one-hour difference in local time. Longitude can be established by comparing local time to an absolute measure of time. The absolute time may be determined by a celestial occurrence observable from both locations, such as a moon eclipse, or by a time signal communicated by telegraph or wireless, depending on the era. The concept is simple, but in practice, developing a reliable method of measuring longitude took centuries and the efforts of some of the world's most brilliant scientists.

The north-south position of a place is determined by its latitude, which is generally the angle between the local vertical and the equatorial plane. The geometrical or astronomical vertical is commonly used to calculate longitude. Because of tiny fluctuations in Earth's gravitational field, this may fluctuate slightly from the gravitational vertical.

How to Find Latitude and Longitude on Google Maps 

To find the latitude and longitude of my location, one has to open the google maps app on an Android phone or phablet. Later, they have to touch and hold the area of ‘my location’, which isn’t labelled in the red pin. Now, they will be able to find the coordinates of latitude and longitude in the search box.

What is the Latitude and Longitude of India?

If you're a geography student, the latitude and longitude of Indian states may be of interest to you. The latitude and longitude of a location on Earth can be used to determine its exact location. India's longitude and latitude are 20' north and 77' east, respectively.

India is the world's seventh-largest country and the second-most populous. India is 3,287,590 square kilometres in size, surrounded by Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, China, Nepal, and Pakistan.

It has a coastline of more than 7,000 kilometres and is bordered by the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. It is made up of 28 states and eight union territories. Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore are India's most populous metropolises.

Information Technology, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Business Management, Travel and Tourism, Financial Consultancy, Real Estate, Consultancies, Educational Institutes, and Construction are all growing sectors in the Indian economy.

Difference Between Latitude and Longitude 



The geographic coordinates that determine the distance of a place north-south of the equator are referred to as latitude.

A geographic coordinate that specifies a point's east-west distance from the Prime Meridian is known as longitude.

It is known as parallels

It is known as meridians

The length of the lines are different

The length of all the lines are the same

It classifies heat zones

It classifies time zones

There are 180 latitude lines

There are 360 longitude lines

Interesting Facts about Latitude and Longitude 

  • The invisible horizontal line that goes around the Earth from East to West is known as latitude. It starts at the Equator, with 0° coordinates.

  • The Equator separates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the Earth.

  • The Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia, and Brazil have a latitude of 0°.

  • In the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, latitude lines run parallel to the Equator, commencing at 0° and counting to 90° North and South.

  • 90°N (North) is the latitude coordinate for the North Pole, while 90°S is the latitude coordinate for the South Pole (South).

  • The invisible vertical line that goes around the Earth from North to South is known as longitude. The Prime Meridian is located at 0° latitude and longitude.

  • Greenwich and Cambridge (UK), Lleida (Spain), and Le Havre (France) are among the cities with a longitude of 0°. (France)

  • Along the Prime Meridian, longitude divides the planet into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

  • The longitude of 0° is established in Greenwich, London, because the Prime Meridian started there. It crosses the United Kingdom, France, Africa, and various seas.

  • The longitude coordinates of New York and Cairo are 74°W (West) and 31°E, respectively (East).

  • To ensure accuracy, latitude and longitude coordinates are written as decimals with up to four decimal places. New York, for example, is located at 74.0059°W.

  • You may plot any point on the Earth by combining a latitude and a longitude coordinate. For example, 64.1265° N, 21.8174° W will lead you to Reykjavik, Iceland's capital.

FAQs on Latitude and Longitude

1. What is the longitude angle?

Ans: The angular distance of a location east or west of the Prime Meridian, or 0° longitude, is measured in longitude. The lines of longitude are the equal-length semi-circles that connect the North and South poles. The longitudes are 0° – 180°E and 0° – 180°W, for a total of 360°.

2. What are the important lines of latitude?

Ans: The important lines of the latitude are:

  • the equator (0°)

  • the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° north)

  • the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° south)

  • the Arctic circle (66.5° north)

  • the Antarctic circle (66.5° south)

  • the North Pole (90° north)

  • the South Pole (90° south)

3. Which is the longest latitude?

Ans: The Equator is at zero degrees, while the North and South Poles are at 90 degrees north and south, respectively. The Equator is the world's longest latitude circle and the only one that is also a great circle.