Parallels and meridians a degree mesh on the globe | Where are located

The geographical system of coordinates is a method for determining the location of the object on the surface using concepts such as breadth and longitude, which are a set of two intersecting axes on a plane, helping to determine the position of a point in the space in relation to them. Simply put, this is the measurement of corners from the center of the planet to a point on its surface, provided that the shape of the planet is taken as a sphere.

It is the lines of latitude and longitude that make up this system: each of the lines of longitude (meridians) sets the number of degrees from the east or west relative to the initial meridian and extends in the direction of the south or north. And longitude indicators lie in the range from180 to +180 degrees, respectively. Lines of latitude (parallels) are located from east to west and set the number of degrees to the north or south relative to the equator. Their values ​​lie in the range from +90 (North Pole) to –90 (South Pole) degrees.


Geographical coordinates help determine the position of any point on the surface of the Earth, and even in the geographical shell, on other planets and even in the heavenly sphere.

Meridians are conditional lines of constant longitude passing through the points of the poles of the planet, focusing on the sides of the North-South, but constant breadth is set in parallels, t.e. lines of constant latitude, laid parallel to the equator, and focusing on the sides of the West-Vostok.

These lines at the expense of their intersection form a geographical coordinate system on the map. As a rule, the indicator of meridians and parallels is integer (measured in degrees), but to accurately determine the coordinates of the point, as well as their application and establishment, these indicators can be changed to minutes and even up to seconds. It is for this purpose that geographical maps are equipped with the socalled minute frame with indicators in a share of degrees.

Meridians and parallels are customary to be divided depending on the method of establishing on:

  • Astronomical;
  • Geodetic;
  • Geographical;
  • Geomagnetic;
  • Heavenly.
  • The zero degree of latitude is called the equator, and the value of latitude can be positive (if it concerns the northern hemisphere), or negative (relative to the southern hemisphere).

    And the angle that is formed between the meridian, which passes between a specific point, and zero meridian, was just the name of geographical longitude. At the same time, any duration of longitude is traditionally correlated with the only zero meridian represented by the line, which runs between the two poles through the London Greenwich Observatory. And this indicator has zero longitude.


    Geographical latitude is the size of the arc in degrees (usually from 0 to 90 degrees) sometimes a minute from the equator to a specific point on the surface.

    Parallels are the main in determining geographical latitude. Depending on the location of the parallels, there can be several types:

  • North, concerning those parallels that are located north of the equator;
  • South, related to lines located south of the equator.
  • Everything is simple here that it is necessary to set the breadth belonging to the point just to find a parallel on which this point is located.
    On the map, the parallels are depicted by lines that are parallel to the equator and, of course, one to the other, the distance between which is measured not in the usual units kilometers, but in degrees, each of which consists of 60 minutes, each of which, in turn,, in turn equal to 60 seconds; one degree is 1/360 part of the length of the equator.

    The equator is considered to be zero latitude, and the pole (both northern and southern), are located at 90 degrees of the south and north latitude, respectively.


    Meridians are decisive in the concept of geographical longitude, which is the length of the equator’s arc from the initial meridian to the meridian of a particular object, measured in degrees.

    The initial meridian, having zero longitude, is commonly called Greenwich Meridian.

    Depending on the location, it is customary to distinguish the following types of longitude:

  • Western westward from Greenwich to 180 meridians;
  • East east of Greenwich to 180 meridians.
  • Longitude is one of the concepts in the geographical coordinate system, which allows you to determine the position of the point regarding the zero meridian, t.e. allows you to find out the state of the object regarding the West and the East.

    Areas located east of Greenwich are called the area of ​​the eastern longitude, in which a significant part of the continents (exclusion is both America) is located, and in the western areas of Western longitude.

    One degree of latitude is 1/180 part of the meridian, and all objects located on the meridian are characterized by the same indicator of longitude, but not coinciding the numbers of latitude, and the average degree length (if we talk about breadth) is about 111 kilometers.

    The number of parallels and meridians on the globe

    Parallels and meridians are imaginary lines, and breadth and longitude are their coordinates that provide the ability to establish the exact location of any object.

    All meridians from one pole to another have an equal length, which is a little more than 20 thousand km, and on maps and globes the interval between each longitude is approximately 15 degrees this is the number of degrees the planet passes in one hour of rotation. As a result, 24 time zones are distinguished, since the Earth completely turns around its axis in 24 hours.

    The parallels have one latitude, but have different longitude, and on the maps the interval between latitudes is the same 15 degrees, t.e. about 1666 km, and the equator is the longest parallel.

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