Tropical rainforests, for example, are the most biodiverse places in the world while harsh conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic make it difficult for many species to survive. Latitude is a measurement on a globe or map of location north or south of the Equator. Lines of constant latitude, or parallels, run east–west as circles parallel to the equator. Circles are divided into 360 degrees. Log in Join now Secondary School. All rights reserved. Even so, understanding the basics behind the concept and comprehending how the math works is vital to ensure you understand exactly how to calculate distance using latitude and longitude. Although the graph appears symmetric about 45°, the minima of the curves actually lie between 45° 2′ and 45° 6′. For latitude, the Equator was designated as the zero degree reference line which is equidistant from the poles. In most common references, geocentric latitude is implied. distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees. Alternatively, you can use a latitude and longitude calculator, which uses an algorithm based on the formula to find the distance. Unlike a circle, a sphere is a three-dimensional object. For a point P not on the reference ellipsoid (semi-axes OA and OB) construct an auxiliary ellipsoid which is confocal (same foci F, F′) with the reference ellipsoid: the necessary condition is that the product ae of semi-major axis and eccentricity is the same for both ellipsoids. In English texts the latitude angle, defined below, is usually denoted by the Greek lower-case letter phi (φ or ϕ). The SisterShip Training will respect the intent of the donor relating to gifts for restricted purposes and those relating to the desire to remain anonymous. system of satellites and receiving devices used to determine the location of something on Earth. The latitude of the North Pole is 90 degrees N, and the latitude of the South Pole is 90 degrees S. Like the poles, some circles of latitude are named. She holds an M.A. Three latitudes are used in this way: the geodetic, geocentric and parametric latitudes are used in geodetic coordinates, spherical polar coordinates and ellipsoidal coordinates respectively. Lines of latitude and longitude help us navigate and describe the Earth. … The development of watches and star tables allowed other stars to likewise be used as reference points for geographic location. The examples below show the named parallels (as red lines) on the commonly used Mercator projection and the Transverse Mercator projection. Amanda Briney is a professional geographer. No irrevocable gift, whether outright or life-income in character, will be accepted if under any reasonable set of circumstances the gift would jeopardize the donor’s financial security.  Derivations of these expressions may be found in Adams and online publications by Osborne and Rapp. On map projections there is no universal rule as to how meridians and parallels should appear. Namely, spheres do not have parallel lines, and lines are considered “great circles” so any two lines will intersect at two points. Bogota, Columbia with its latitude of 4°35'53''N is at a low latitude. Lines of latitude are imaginary reference lines that describe how far north or south a location on the Earth is from the Equator. Using the equator as the reference line for latitude also allows celestial navigation to be performed very simply. Finally, the Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle are also important lines of latitude. Like the equator, parallels are also considered circles of latitude or lines that circle the entire Earth. Students look at lines of latitude and longitude on United States and world maps, discuss why these lines are helpful, and identify landmarks with similar latitude and longitude. The shape of an ellipsoid of revolution is determined by the shape of the ellipse which is rotated about its minor (shorter) axis. The parametric latitude is not used in the theory of map projections. The precise measurement of latitude requires an understanding of the gravitational field of the Earth, either to set up theodolites or to determine GPS satellite orbits. The length of the meridian arc between two given latitudes is given by replacing the limits of the integral by the latitudes concerned. For example, the defining values for the WGS84 ellipsoid, used by all GPS devices, are. In the Arctic, it is much colder and drier than in the tropics. Even for delivery services, it can assist companies with planning the best possible routes for their teams to travel while reducing overall transit times, improving delivery speeds, and generating revenues. a set of numbers giving the precise location of a point, often its latitude and longitude. Besides making it easier for one to locate different places on Earth, latitude is important to geography because it helps navigation and researchers understand the various patterns seen on Earth. Measuring the angle of the North Star above the horizon when standing on the North Pole gives an angle of nearly 90 degrees, the same latitude north as the North Pole. Paris' location in this format looks like, 48.856°. An example of the use of the rectifying latitude is the equidistant conic projection. These geocentric ellipsoids are usually within 100 m (330 ft) of the geoid. Sustainability Policy | It is significant because it is the exact center of the Earth and it divides that Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. There are six auxiliary latitudes that have applications to special problems in geodesy, geophysics and the theory of map projections: The definitions given in this section all relate to locations on the reference ellipsoid but the first two auxiliary latitudes, like the geodetic latitude, can be extended to define a three-dimensional geographic coordinate system as discussed below. With this value for R the meridian length of 1 degree of latitude on the sphere is 111.2 km (69.1 statute miles) (60.0 nautical miles). It is measured with 180 imaginary lines that form circles around the Earth east-west, parallel to the Equator. The rectifying latitude, μ, is the meridian distance scaled so that its value at the poles is equal to 90 degrees or π/2 radians: where the meridian distance from the equator to a latitude φ is (see Meridian arc), and the length of the meridian quadrant from the equator to the pole (the polar distance) is, Using the rectifying latitude to define a latitude on a sphere of radius.
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