Difference Between Longitude and Latitude Lines

Earth is round! So, have you ever think how it would be difficult to navigate around the Earth without geographic guidance? Special thanks to Hipparchus, the famous Greek astronomer, who formulated popular geographic coordinates like latitudes and longitudes to define any specific location on Earth. Both of these geographical concepts are gauged in degrees as out earth is a perfect sphere. Latitudes and longitudes are most often used by the navigators when flying or shipping, where no specific straight signs are available to direct them to the desired location. Moreover, both terms have great importance for the geography enthusiasts as they use them to make various predictions.  It is important to thoroughly understand the differences between these two geographical terms as any misconception can spoil one’s calculations and understanding about them.

The purpose of both Longitude and Latitude is same, but the main difference between lies in their “Direction.” The longitudinal lines are not parallel to each other and they run from North to South. The latitudinal lines, on the other hand, are parallel to each other and run from East to West.

The lines of latitude range from 0° (Equator) to 90° (North and South Poles) whereas lines of longitude range 0° (prime Meridian) to 180°.

The locations that share identical lines of latitude do not inevitably fall into the similar time zone. While, all the locations on the same lines of longitude automatically falls into the similar time zone.

The latitude assists in studying the weather and climatic conditions of a specific region while the longitude of a place helps in understanding its time zone only.

The places along the latitude fall in the Northern or Southern Hemispheres of the earth whereas the location along longitude may fall into different hemispheres.

Degrees of longitude may have more or less mileage based on the overall distance of the Equator (N or S). On the other hand, degrees of latitude always have the same mileage all across the globe.


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    Latitude Lines

    The lines running from East to West of an Equator are called as “Latitude Lines.” These lines are also called “parallels” in the world of geography and are symbolized technically by a Greek sign “phi (Φ).”

    Image Courtesy: mrdowling.com

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    Longitude Lines

    The lines running from East to West from the Prime Meridian are called as “longitude Lines.” These lines are not parallel and are also called as “meridians.” They are denoted by a Greek symbol “lambda (λ).”

    Image Courtesy: staff.harrisonburg.k12.va.us

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