Geographic coordinate system

related topics
{math, energy, light}
{island, water, area}
{line, north, south}
{math, number, function}
{city, large, area}
{system, computer, user}
{language, word, form}
{borough, population, unit_pref}
{service, military, aircraft}

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on the Earth to be specified by a set of numbers. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represent vertical position, and two or three of the numbers represent horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation.[1]

Contents

Geographic latitude and longitude

The geographic latitude (abbreviation: Lat., φ, or phi) of a point on the Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and a line that passes through that point and is normal to the surface of a reference ellipsoid which approximates the shape of the Earth.[n 1] This line passes a few kilometers away from the center of the Earth except at the poles and the equator where it passes through Earth's center.[n 2] Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of the Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the equator and to each other. The north pole is 90° N; the south pole is 90° S. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the equator, the fundamental plane of all geographic coordinate systems. The equator divides the globe into Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

The Longitude (abbreviation: Long., λ, or lambda) of a point on the Earth's surface is the angle east or west from a reference meridian to another meridian that passes through that point. All meridians are halves of great ellipses (often improperly called great circles), which converge at the north and south poles.

Full article ▸

related documents
Nucleon
Velocity
Focal length
Retrograde and direct motion
Hall effect
Albedo
Alcubierre drive
Vulcan (hypothetical planet)
Electromagnetism
Star cluster
Electrical impedance
Red dwarf
Phobos (moon)
Zodiac
Superfluid
Kinetic theory
Boltzmann constant
Voyager 2
Comoving distance
Pressure
Čerenkov radiation
Snell's law
Gaussian beam
Map projection
Auger electron spectroscopy
Aperture
Dimensionless quantity
Astrometry
Topic outline of physics
Bremsstrahlung