# Differences Between Latitude and Longitude

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Latitude is a measurement of the angular distance north or south from the equator. Longitude is a measurement of how far east or west you are from Greenwich, England. To know your latitude, measure the angle between the North Pole and where you are standing on Earth’s surface then divide that by 90 degrees to get your latitude value. To find out your longitude, measure the angle between where you are standing on Earth’s surface and Greenwich, England then divide that by 180 degrees to get your longitude value.

Latitude and longitude are two different measurements of distance on the earth. Latitudes are measured horizontally, while longitudes are measured vertically. There is a difference between latitude and longitude because latitudes can be negative or positive values, but longitudinal distances can only be positive values.

Latitude and longitude are used to pinpoint a location on Earth. Latitude is measured in degrees north or south of the equator, while longitude is measured east or west from the Prime Meridian. Longitudes converge at the poles, so these two measurements can be combined to determine a point’s position anywhere on Earth.

## What is Latitude?

Have you ever wondered what latitude is? It is a measure of how far north or south of the equator a location is, and it is usually denoted in degrees. Latitude can be used to find locations on a map, and it also has other applications. In this blog post, we will explore what latitude is and how it is used. We will also discuss some of the misconceptions about latitude that are out there. Are you ready to learn more? Let’s get started.

Latitude is a measure of distance north or south of the Earth’s equator, taken as a line running from the Equator to the center of the Earth. It is measured in degrees (°) with 0° at the Equator and 90° at the poles. Latitude is used to calculate location on a map, plan flights, and navigate boats and ships. Knowing your latitude can be helpful when traveling to unfamiliar places or trying to identify where you are on a map.

## What is Longitude?

To navigate the open seas, sailors and explorers have historically used latitude to measure their distance from the equator. Latitude is a horizontal line that measures how far north or south of the equator a location is. But what about measuring east or west? This is where longitude comes in. Longitude measures a location’s distance from the prime meridian, which intersects with the equator at Greenwich, England. Together, latitude and longitude help pinpoint a location on Earth. Mariners have used this information for centuries to make informed decisions while sailing. With GPS technology available today, we no longer need to rely on traditional methods of navigation. However, it’s still interesting to know how these concepts work.

In 1714, British Parliament passed the Longitude Act to solve the problem of accurately measuring longitude at sea. John Harrison, a self-taught clockmaker, created a series of clocks that could keep accurate time even while traveling on a ship. The act offered a prize of £20,000 (about \$3 million in today’s currency) for anyone who could create a reliable and accurate method for measuring longitude. Harrison’s clocks ultimately won the prize, revolutionizing naval navigation and contributing to Britain’s maritime dominance during the 18th century. Today, the Longitude Prize aims to spur innovation in global health and sustainability solutions.

## 10 Differences Between Latitude and Longitude

1. Latitude is measured in degrees, beginning at the equator and going up to 90°N or S.

2. Longitude is also measured in degrees, but it begins at the Prime Meridian (0°).

3. The distance between two points on a map using latitude can be found by multiplying the degree of latitude with the cosine of half-latitude.

4. The distance between two points on a map using longitude can be found by multiplying the degree of longitude with the sine of half-longitude.

5. A point’s position on Earth can be calculated as latitude + longitude = x+y=z.

6. When you’re looking for an address, you usually find it through its lat/long coordinates.

7. Latitude is a measurement of how far north or south you are from the equator.

8. Longitude is a measurement of how far east or west you are from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England.

9. Latitude and longitude measurements can be expressed in degrees (°), minutes (′), seconds (″).

10. The Earth rotates 360° every 24 hours.

## Interesting Statistics or Facts of Latitude

1. The world’s widest point is at the equator.

2. There are 3,000 miles between the North and South poles.

3. The Earth’s diameter is 7,926 miles at its widest point.

4. Latitude lines divide the globe into 90 degrees each.

5. Latitude lines go from south to north on a map.

6. All of Europe can be found in 31 degrees of latitude.

## Interesting Statistics or Facts of Longitude

1. The Earth is divided into 360 degrees of longitude.

2. Longitude can be measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds.

3. One degree equals 60 nautical miles.

4. A minute equals 1/60th of a degree or 1 nautical mile.

5. There are 360 degrees in one full circle around the earth at the equator.

6. A second is equal to 1/86400th of a day or 24 hours.

## Conclusion

The difference between latitude and longitude is that the former determines your position on Earth, while the latter helps you pinpoint a location. Latitude lines are parallel to each other, but they change in length as you move north or south from the equator. Longitudes converge at either side of zero degrees—the Prime Meridian through Greenwich, England (longitude 0°) and 180th meridian eastward through Perth, Australia (longitude 180°). There are five basic steps to understanding how these two coordinates work together for finding locations around our planet.  1) Determine your current latitude by measuring it with an analog clock face; 2) Measure longitudinally using an analog clock hand; 3) Calculate distance west or east of the Prime Meridian; 4) Convert minutes and seconds into decimal degrees for more accurate readings; 5) Plot your coordinates on a map.

References: