Where exactly is the city of Los Angeles situated on a map? It is possible to express it in relative terms (for example, about 3,000 miles west of New York), but a cartographer, pilot, geologist, or geographer needs a far more exact measurement. As a result, we make use of a geographic coordinate system that is expressed in terms of degrees of latitude and longitude so that we may exactly pinpoint any given location on the planet. This method begins with imagining a world-spanning network of lines to form a grid. Within the grid, locations are determined by both the X and Y coordinates of their positions. However, due to the fact that the Earth is round, the distances that separate the lines on the grid are not constant.
The Concepts of Latitude and Longitude
Longitude may be conceptualised as a series of lines, known as meridians, that extend from the north pole to the south pole. There is a total of 360 meridians in the world. The Prime Meridian passes via the Greenwich Observatory in England, which was determined to be the position of 0 degrees at a meeting that took place in 1884. Although it does not quite follow a straight line, the international date line may be found on the other side of the planet, at a longitude of roughly 180 degrees. (This prevents various nations from observing different days.) When moving from west to east over the international date line, a person advances their current date by one day. When going from east to west, one day is added to the total.
The equator and the lines that define latitude, which are termed parallels because they run in the same direction, are used to determine latitude. The Earth is divided into a northern hemisphere and a southern hemisphere by the equator, which is a circle that travels around the centre of the globe.
When lines of latitude and longitude connect, they form a grid that anybody, no matter where they are, may use to precisely locate a geographic place. There are 360 degrees of longitude, and there are 180 degrees of latitude. This is because the meridians create Great Circles around the world. Measurements are not only given in degrees, but also in minutes and seconds, so that a greater level of specificity may be achieved about the location of everything on Earth. Each degree may be split into sixty minutes, and each minute can be broken down further into sixty seconds. Longitude and latitude may both be expressed as degrees, minutes, and seconds, and can be used to define any given place.
How Many Miles Are There Between Each Degree of Latitude?
As a result of the parallel nature of the degrees of latitude, the distance that separates each degree often does not change. However, since the Earth has a somewhat elliptical shape, the degrees change by a tiny amount as we go from the equator to the poles in either direction. This causes a minor variance in the degrees.
A distance of roughly 69 miles (111 kilometres) separates each degree of latitude.
It is 68.703 miles from the equator to the starting point (110.567 kilometers).
The distance between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, which is 23.5 degrees north and south, is 69.04 kilometres (68.94 miles) (110.948 kilometers).
There is a distance of 69.407 miles between each of the poles (111.699 kilometers).
This comes in handy if you want to know how much distance there is between each degree, regardless of where on Earth you happen to be. One mile is equal to about one minute, which is one-sixtieth of a degree. This is all you need to know.
For example, if we were at 40 degrees north, 100 degrees west, we would be on the Nebraska-Kansas boundary. We have driven around 69 miles and are now located close to Interstate 80 if we were to continue heading north until we reached 41 degrees north and 100 degrees west.
How Many Miles Are There Between Each Degree of Longitude?
When compared to latitude, the distance between degrees of longitude may change drastically depending on where on the world you are standing. They are farthest apart near the equator and become closer together as they approach the poles.
With a distance of 69.172 miles, a degree of longitude is at its greatest width near the equator (111.321 kilometers).
The gap between them eventually becomes null as they approach each other near the poles.
It is 53 miles from one degree of longitude to the next whether you are at 40 degrees north or south (85 kilometers). The latitude of 40 degrees north marks a line that passes across the centre of China, Turkey, and the United States. In the meanwhile, 40 degrees south is located to the south of Africa, travels through the southern regions of Chile and Argentina, and passes almost straight through the middle of New Zealand.
Calculate the Distance from One Point to Another
What should you do if someone gives you two coordinates for latitude and longitude and you need to determine the distance that separates the two locations? You might use a method that is known as a haversine formula to determine the distance; but, unless you are an expert in trigonometry, this will not be a simple task for you to do. We are fortunate that in today’s digital environment, computers are able to perform the arithmetic for us.
The vast majority of interactive map programmes will let you to enter GPS coordinates of latitude and longitude and will then provide you with information on the distance between the two spots.
There are many different latitude and longitude distance calculators that may be found on the internet. One that is fairly simple to use may be found at the National Hurricane Center.
It is important to keep in mind that you may also use a map programme to discover the exact latitude and longitude of a spot. If we take Google Maps as an example, we can simply click on a place and a pop-up window will provide information on the location’s latitude and longitude, accurate to a millionth of a degree. Similarly, if you right-click on a place on MapQuest, you will get the coordinates for that site’s latitude and longitude.