Latitude and Longitude
Look on almost any map or globe and you
will see lines going vertically and horizontally, forming what looks like
a grid over the Earth's surface. These lines, called latitude and longitude,
assign numbers to every location on the map. The unit of measurement for
latitude and longitude is called a degree, which is indicated by
a small circle to the upper left after a latitude or longitude is given
Latitude, the lines that run left to
right on a map or globe, is always listed first when assigning a measurement.
The equator is found at 0° latitude, and there are 90 degrees
to each of the poles. The N or S following a latitude measurement indicate
whether the degrees are measured north or south of the equator.
Longitude, the lines that run up and
down on a map or globe, is always listed second when assigning a measurement.
The prime meridian is found at 0° longitude, and there are 180°
going both east and west from the prime meridian to the International
Date Line. The E or the W following a longitude measurement indicate
whether the degrees are measured east or west of the prime meridian.
Minutes and seconds sometimes
follow latitude and longitude measurements to more accurately pinpoint
a location. Each degree can be divided into sixty minutes, usually indicated
by a single quotation mark (ex. 5') or by numbers following a period in
the latitude or longitude measurement. For example, 90°15'N could also
be written as 90.15N. Each minute can be divided into sixty seconds, indicated
by a regular (double) quotation mark (ex. 5'').
You can use a map or globe to find
general latitude and longitude measurements, or an atlas, which
is a collection of maps, for more specific measurements including minutes
and seconds. Practice using an atlas to find the following locations (be
sure to include degree signs and direction):
What can be found at 90° N? ____________________
What can be found at 90° S? ____________________
What city in England is located at longitude
What city in the United States is located
at 40° N, 75° W? ____________________
What other cities are located at latitude
40° N? ____________________
What other cities are located at longitude
75° W? ____________________
Find your city on a map or atlas. At what
latitude and longitude are you right now? ____________________
Find your country on a map or atlas. What
is the approximate range of latitudes and longitudes that your country
Want some extra credit? Then print
out this puzzle and fill it in....