Latitude and longitude


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This is slide show created based on a tutorial hosted by Geography World and created by Mr. Bowerman. All credit for images and information go to them. I created this for use in a 4/5 grade gifted social studies and math lesson.

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Latitude and longitude

  1. 1. Lesson One - Four
  2. 2.  Latitude lines are imaginary lines on the earths surface. They run east and west around the globe and tell you your distance north or south of the Equator.
  3. 3.  Think of latitude like the rungs of a ladder (ladder sounds a lot like latitude). Latitude lines run east and west, but they tell how far up (north) you can go or how far down (south) you can go.
  4. 4.  Longitude lines are imaginary lines on the earths surface that run from pole to pole around the globe and tell you your distance east or west from the Prime Meridian. The red line shows a longitude line.
  5. 5.  When you think of longitude, think of long, tall telephone poles (because longitude lines run from pole to pole). Longitude lines run north and south, but they tell how far east you can go or how far west you can go.
  6. 6.  Inthe field of mathematics, circles are measured in degrees. There are 360 degrees in a circle. Since the earth is basically circular, it was decided to measure latitude and longitude in degrees also.
  7. 7.  The first latitude line was the Equator (equally distant between the north and south poles). It is the largest of all latitude lines. All other latitude lines are measured in degrees north or south of the Equator. There are a maximum of 90 degrees of latitude to the north or the south of the Equator.
  8. 8.  The first longitude line was the Prime Meridian. Any meridian could have been chosen as the Prime Meridian because they are all exactly the same. The Prime Meridian was selected by international agreement at the International Meridian Conference called by President Chester Arthur in October of 1884. Representatives from 25 nations met in Washington, D.C. All other longitude lines are measured in degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian. There are a maximum of 180 degrees on longitude to the east or the west of the Prime Meridian.
  9. 9.  It is approximately 70 miles between two latitude lines. For more accuracy in location, degrees can be divided into smaller parts. One degree can be divided into 60 minutes () and one minute can be divided into 60 seconds ("). We will not use minutes or seconds of latitude and longitude in this course.
  10. 10.  If someone asked you the location of the local town bank, you may say "It is on the corner of Main and Third streets." Latitude and longitude are like imaginary streets on the earth.
  11. 11.  Itis customary to give the latitude of a place first, and the longitude second. For example, you would say "35 degrees north, 77 degrees west". This eliminates the need to say the words latitude and longitude. Make sure that you give a direction with the number. If you simply say "66 degrees latitude", there are two of them - one in the north and one in the south.
  12. 12. 1. Go to your starting line (the Equator).2. Determine which direction you must go (north or south).3. Determine the distance in degrees you must go (60).
  13. 13. 1. Go to your starting line (the Prime Meridian).2. Determine which direction you must go (east or west).3. Determine the distance in degrees you must go (40).
  14. 14.  If you find the intersection of these two imaginary streets, you have found the exact (absolute) location of a particular place on the earths surface (shown by the red "X" on the map below.
  15. 15.  Use your skill builder sheet and the map on the next slide. For each question: • Select which letter matches the correct latitude and longitude coordinates on the map. • Record the letter on your Skill Builder sheet. • You may go back to previous slides for a reminder of latitude and longitude.
  16. 16.  In real life, there are several instances where you would need to know how to find latitude and longitude. For example, when weather forecasters are tracking hurricanes, they note the absolute location on a periodic basis to see the path of the storm and try to predict the future path based partially on these findings.
  17. 17.  Inthe military. Suppose you were at war and you wanted to blow up an ammunition factory, but not the hospital nearby. Using minutes and seconds of latitude and longitude, you can launch a missile from hundreds of miles away and strike only that particular building.
  18. 18.  Ifyou wanted to license a CB base station, or even license 5-mile range walkie talkies, you need to provide the latitude and longitude of your home to the Federal Communications Commission to get such a license.
  19. 19.  Inan emergency situation, like a plane crash or a ship sinking, you can relay your coordinates of latitude and longitude to assist rescue teams when time may be very important. If you are in the middle of an ocean, there are no landmarks to use, so you had better know your latitude and longitude.
  20. 20.  Explore at least two more sites and find two facts you haven’t learned yet about latitude and longitude. Record them on your skill builder worksheet. rther.html