How are Latitudes and Longitudes Useful to Us?

What are Latitudes and longitudes? Which is the Most Important Latitude and Why? How are Latitudes and Longitudes useful to You and to Map Readers? 

Ever wondered how ships or airplanes sail or fly? Since childhood, you have usually seen horizontal or vertical lines on maps or globes. These lines are known as latitudes and longitudes. These important latitudes and longitudes are basically geographical coordinates that point out a location, or you can say the exact location. But how are latitudes and longitudes useful to us? Well, these lines help us to identify locations on the Earth’s surface. You will find out how our latitudes and longitudes are useful to map readers, as you continue reading the article.

1. What are Latitudes and Longitudes?

These lines are the parameters that help you to determine the location of any place on Earth and it would have been a real problem if there were no latitude and longitude. Latitude is the horizontal line that measures the distance north or south of the equator. Whereas longitude is the vertical lines through which we can measure the east or west of the Meridian. (See How can you differentiate between map and globe?)

2. Which is the Most Important Latitude and Why?

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The most important latitude of India is The Tropic of Cancer (23 ½ N). This latitude divides the country into two halves as well as plays an important role in affecting the climate of our country. (See What are the effects of latitude on climate?)

3. How are Latitudes and Longitudes useful to Us?

Now that you know what they are, you might wonder how are latitudes and longitudes useful to us. The following list describes their importance:

  • Latitudes help you to measure the distance from north to south from the equator.
  • Longitude helps you to measure the distance between west to east from the prime meridian.
  • Longitude and latitude help you to measure the location as well as time using a single standard.

4. How Latitudes and Longitudes are Useful to Map Readers?

Latitudes and longitudes are useful to map readers in various ways. Map readers means geographers, cartographers, and others who locate places on the earth. Through these lines, map readers are able to trace a place on a corner of the earth and study the geographic or topographic features of that place. These are usually useful in the navy, aviation, geographic research, etc. (See What is the difference between latitude and longitude?)

5. What are the Important Latitudes and Longitudes?

Apart from several other latitudes and longitudes, there are a few important latitudes and longitudes that you need to keep in mind.

They are:

  • The equator or (0°)
  • The North Pole (90°N)
  • The South Pole (90°S)
  • The Tropic of Cancer (23 ½° N)
  • The Tropic of Capricorn (23 ½° S)
  • The Arctic Circle is 66 ½° north of the equator.
  • The Antarctic Circle is 66 ½° south of the equator.

The two most important longitude are:

  • The Prime Meridian
  • The 180-degree meridian.

6. What are Latitudes used for?

Photo by Bruno Martins on Unsplash

How are latitudes and longitudes useful to us? Latitudes have been used for navigation and astronomy since ancient times. However, in modern days, latitudes are used for tracing out several trajectories all around the globe. It is used in space stations for scientific research. Also, the navy and aviation use this for transportation. Check out What is the Imaginary Line that Runs from the Geographic North To South Pole?

7. How are Longitudes used to Study Time?

A day is of 24 hours and hence you can easily use time in order to calculate longitude. One hour time difference equals 15 degrees of longitude (or, 360 degrees/24 hours = 15 degrees/hours). (See Are there 360 or 361 longitudes?)

8. What would Happen if there were No Latitude and Longitude?

If there were no latitude or longitude, places would have been very difficult to trace throughout the globe. This would turn out to be chaos as the transportation systems, GPS systems, and other highly major scientific research depended upon these two lines. (See What does GPS stand for?)

9. What are the 5 Differences between Latitude and Longitude?

Latitude Longitude
It helps to measure the distance between north and south from the Equator. It helps to measure the distance between east and west from the Prime meridian.
It is referred to as parallels. It is referred to as meridians.
The latitudinal lines are of various lengths. These lines are of equal lengths
It divides the globe into two heat zones. It is used to categorize time zones.
There are 180 lines of latitude There are 360 lines of longitude.

10. What are the Important Latitudes and Longitudes of India?

The important latitudes and longitudes are:

  • The Tropic of Cancer 23.5 degrees North is the most important latitude of India. It is because it separates the country into almost two equal halves.
  • \[82^\circ 30\]’E is the most important longitude of India as this central meridian is taken into consideration for the measurement of the Indian Standard Time. 

We end the article with the hope that we could answer all the queries that were lingering in your mind for quite some time now. Spread this information among your friends and family who were wanting to know how are latitudes and longitudes useful to us. (See What is Imaginary Line?)

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