Difference Between Latitude and Longitude in Tabular Form

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In order to find the geographical coordinates, or, simply speaking, the position or location of a certain object, what we need is the latitude and longitude of that object. And, when we have both of them, we can easily mark out that specific position.

The primary difference between latitude and longitude is that the latitudes are the horizontal circular lines we use to measure north-south direction across the globe. On the other hand, Longitudes are the vertical circular line that we use to measure east-west direction across the globe.

Not to mention, both of them are imaginary lines plotted around the globe. Additionally, both of them represent the geographical coordinate system. Nevertheless, before going into the deep discussion, let me give you a brief review of the two in a tabular form. Let’s dive right in!

 

 LatitudeLongitude
1.Latitude refers to the geographical coordinate that determines the position of an object of the north-south of the equator.Longitude refers to the imaginary geographical coordinate that determines the position of an object of the east-west of the prime meridian.
2.Latitudes are also known as the Parallels.Longitudes are also known as the Meridians.
3.The direction of latitudes is from east to west, therefore, horizontal lines.The direction of longitudes is from north to south, therefore, vertical lines.
4.The central reference point of the lines of latitude is the Equator.The central reference point of the lines of longitude is the Prime Meridian.
5.Lines of latitude are parallel and equal in length.Lines of longitude are not parallel and unequal in length.
6.There are 181 lines of latitude.There are 360 lines of longitude.
7.Lines of latitude divides the earth into the northern and southern hemisphere.Lines of longitude divides the earth into the eastern and western hemisphere.
8.The range of latitude is from 0 to 180 degrees.The range of longitude is from 0 to 360 degrees.
9.The symbol of latitude is the Greek letter ɸ (phi).The symbol of longitude is the Greek letter λ (lambda).
10.Lines of Latitude help to classify the different heat or temperature zones.Lines of Longitude help to classify the different time zones.
From the above difference between latitude and longitude in tabular form, you got the exact overview of these two. However, in order to get to know them in detail, let us try to understand both of them in a detailed format. Keep reading!

 

What is Latitude?

lines-of-latitude
Image Credit: NASA

Latitude refers to the geographical coordinate that determines the position of an object of the north-south of the equator. Not to mention, these imaginary circular lines run from east to west.

Just like lines of longitudes, they are also measured in degrees. Additionally, latitudinal lines are always perpendicular to the longitudinal lines, and, vice-versa.

They are always parallel to each other and equal in length. In fact, just because all the lines of latitude are parallel to each other, we also call them parallels of latitude. Moreover, the symbol of latitude is the Greek letter ɸ (phi).

 

How many latitudes are there?

As you already know that all the parallels of latitude are usually measured in degrees. Speaking of degrees, by the same token, the very first circles of latitude start from the equator which is at 0 degrees.

One can also say that the central reference point of the lines of latitude is the Equator. Therefore, as a result, it virtually divides the world into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Later, from the equator, these circles expand to the north and south poles of the earth.

Both the north pole and south pole are at 90 degrees with respect to the equator. So, when you count all of the lines of the latitude above and below the equator. What you get are 180 parallels.

And, when you add the equator i.e at 0 degrees, you get 181 degrees of latitudes. To put it differently, (90 for equator to the north pole) + (90 for equator to south pole) + (1 for equator itself) is equal to 181 circles of latitudes.

Additionally, the distance between each degree of latitude is about 69 miles (110 kilometers).

Most Important Lines of Latitude

Out of all the 181 lines of latitude, these are the most important ones!!!

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

Applications of Lines of Latitude

If you think you can’t relate to the real-life applications of lines of latitude, well, here is your chance to think again.

  • We use latitudes to specify different temperature zones.
  • Both latitude and longitude are important to specify different locations around the globe, etc.

 

What is Longitude?

prime-meridian-map
The prime meridian passes through Greenwich, England. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Longitude refers to the geographical coordinate that determines the position of the object of the east-west of the prime meridians. Not to mention, these imaginary circular lines run from north to south.

Just like lines of latitude, they are also measured in degrees. Additionally, longitudinal lines are always perpendicular to latitudinal lines, and, vice-versa. They are not parallel and unequal in length. Moreover, the symbol of longitude is the Greek letter λ (lambda).

 

How many longitudes are there?

Since there are 360 degrees in a circle or a sphere and longitudes are measured in degrees. As a result, in total, there are 360 longitudinal lines. Just because each of the lines of longitude is also the one half of the great circle, they are also called the meridians.

Speaking of meridians, unlike latitudes, there is no permanent central longitude. Therefore, as a result, in order to measure position and time, over a period of history, cartographers and geographers have designated different locations as the central longitudinal reference point.

Important Line of Longitude

In the current world scenario, the longitudinal line that runs through Greenwich, England, is considered the central longitudinal line. That’s why the Greenwich meridian line is known as the prime meridian.

Since the Greenwich Meridian is the prime meridian, it is assumed to be located at zero degrees longitude. Therefore, as a result, it virtually divides the world into the Eastern and western hemispheres.

If I talk in terms of the total longitudinal lines, there are 180 lines of longitude in the Eastern Hemisphere. On the other hand, there are 180 lines of longitude in the western hemisphere.

 

Applications of Lines of Longitude

If you think you can’t relate to the real-life applications of lines of longitude, well, here is your chance to think again.

  • We use longitudes to specify different time zones.
  • Both latitude and longitude are important to specify different locations around the globe, etc.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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