Latitude & Longitude

As we know, the world is a round globe. This means you can measure 360° around it in any direction. Latitude and Longitude standardizes how we measure those 360° by adding an imaginary grid and co-ordinate system over top – just like a a graph.

  • Latitude begins at the Equator, which is at 0° latitude. From there, it counts 90 degrees north to the North Pole (90°N), and 90 degrees south to the South Pole, at 90°S.

  • Longitude begins at the Prime Meridian, at 0° longitude, and goes all the way around the world to the opposite side, the International Date Line at 180°.

Put together, Latitude and Longitude create a system of co-ordinates to describe the location of features and places on Earth. Co-ordinates may be given in degrees, minutes and seconds (e.g. 43° 04' 38.30" N 79° 04' 32.23" W) or as decimals; e.g. 43.0773° N, 79.0753° W.

You can find the co-ordinates of any place in the world, in multiple formats at

gMaps and gEarth recognize either format of Latitude and Longitude co-ordinates. Go ahead – try them!

How to read Latitude and Longitude Co-ordinates (4:06)

Latitude and Longitude (1:16)

Latitude and Longitude (8:10)

World Map with Lat & Long
11x17 (Tabloid) PDF

Simple Worksheet from