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This cutaway view of the Earth shows the angular measurement of latitude and longitude.
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Image Courtesy of Dennis Ward/UCAR

Angles Determine Latitude and Longitude

This cutaway view of the Earth shows how the measurements of latitude and longitude are found.

Latitude, shown in blue, describes the location of a place north or south of the Equator. Latitude can either be North or South, depending on the hemisphere in which the place is located.

Longitude, shown in red, describes the location of a place east or west from the Prime Meridian. Longitude is described as being either East or West, depending on which way you measure from the Prime Meriadian.

Last modified July 23, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA