A circle such as around the globe is 360 degrees (). Each degree may be further divided into 60 minutes (') and each minute into 60 seconds ("). A grid system or graticule is formed in this manner using a base of two perpendicular circles. Latitude measures the number of degrees north or south of the equator which has a latitude of 0. Lines of latitude (parallels) run east-west around the globe and are used to measure distances NORTH and SOUTH of the equator. Since the equator is 0, the latitude of the north pole, 1/4 of the way around the globe going in a northerly direction, would be 90N. This is the highest latitude possible. All latitudes except for the equatore must be designated either north or south of the equator. The longitude coordinate is also needed, then, to designate one particular point on the earth's surface. Longitude measures the number of degrees EAST or WEST of the Prime Meridian which runs through Greenwich, England. The Prime Meridian has a longitude of 0. Lines of longitude (meridians) running north-south around the globe measure distances EAST and WEST of the Prime Meridian. Directly on the opposite side of the earth from the prime meridian is located the 180 meridian. This is the highest longitude possible. All other longitudes must be designated either eastor west of the Prime Meridian. All meridians converge at the poles so exactly at the poles no longitude is given; the longitude of the poles is left blank. It is required that latitude be given before longitude (generally preferred in non-computer applications). Lines of latitude and longitude represent true geographic east-west and north-south directions despite the fact that on some maps the grid lines may be curved due to the problems of projecting the spherical surface of the earth onto the flat surface of a map. When giving the latitude and longitude coordinates, be sure to identify if the location is north or south, east or west of the base or reference lines!! At these lines, no direction can be given, so do not put a letter after the degree sign.

Fill in the blanks below.

1. There are _____ seconds in a minute, _____ minutes in a degree, and _____degrees in a circle.
2. Latitude measures distance _____ and _____ of the _____.
3. Longitude measures distance _____ and _____ of the ______________ which runs through __________.
4. Latitude measures as high as _____ which represents the ________ and longitude measures as high as _____.
5. At the poles, all lines of longitude (meridians) __________.
6. The coordinates of the north pole are _____ and of the south pole are _____.

latitude and longitude practice map

Look at the points on the map above and identify their location by latitude and longitude to the nearest 15 (All answers must be multiples of 15.) Do not forget to state the direction, if necessary. Leave a blank if no information is needed.

Additional Summary
The directions _____ or _____ must always be given with latitude EXCEPT for _____ which is the _____. The directions _____ or _____ must always be given with longitude EXCEPT for _____ which is the _____ and _____ on the opposite side of the earth. Latitude can NEVER be over _____ and longitude can NEVER be over _____ . All points on the earth's surface must be identified by both coordinates EXCEPT for ____ ___ which is the _____ and ____ ___ which is _____.

Answers: 1. 60, 60, 360; 2. north, south, equator; 3. east, west, prime meridian, Greenwich, England; 4. 90, poles, 180; 5. converge; 6. 90N, 90S; A 75N, 90W; B 60N, 120W; C 60N, 60E; D 15N, 45W; E 0, 150W; F 60S,120W; G 30S, 0; H 15S, 75E; I 45S, 150E; J 30N, 180. NOTE: A through J must match EXACTLY to be correct!; north, south, 0, equator. east, west, 0, prime meridian, 180. 90, 180. 90, N, north pole, 90, S, south pole.

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