Longitude vs. Latitude

Longitude and Latitude: Similarities and Differences

As history tells it, man’s obsession to explore his surroundings has undeniably acquainted him to new discoveries. Before, it is believed that the earth is a flat disc; this conviction prevailed over human philosophy until he tried to discover the reality between the myths that has long been considered truth. At this time, as we enjoy the fruits of man’s explorations, we do not anymore consider earth as a flat disc; rather it is a spherical body able to maintain life and prosperity to its habitants. As man continues to travel around the sphere-shaped planet, he attempts to make new innovation to make his exploration even easier. Imaginary lines, such as the longitudes and latitudes were placed into the globes miniature model to identify location, weather, time zone, and climate of a certain place.

Longitudes are vertical lines extending from the North Pole to the South Pole. These lines measures the angular distance of a place from the prime meridian through degrees, seconds and minutes. These lines are often referred to as meridians and made to determine a place’s distance from another place through its east or west. The time zone is the one mostly being determined by longitudes.

On the other hand, latitudes are horizontal lines parallel to the equator. It measures the degree of distance, in seconds and minutes, of a certain place from the equator. These lines determine a region’s character whether it is tropical or arctic. Also, a place’s weather and climate are determined by the latitude.

Both use degrees (Ëš) as their unit of measurement. The equator is zero degrees(0Ëš) latitude with the farthest from it, north or south, being 90Ëš. The prime meridian, on the other hand is zero degrees (0Ëš) longitude with the farthest from it, whether west or east, at 180Ëš. Though both may be different by some means, still they are helpful in guiding us as we dare to explore the wonders of our mother earth.

In brief:

  • Longitudes are vertical lines extending from the North Pole to the South Pole which are used to determine a certain place’s time zone.
  • Latitudes are horizontal lines parallel to the equator which are sed to determine a place’s weather, climate and characteristics – whether a place is arctic or tropic.
  • Both use degree as a unit of measurement.