Latitude and Longitude

Being able to describe where you are on the globe, or where you want to get to on the globe, could be a tricky task. But thanks to the system of latitudes and longitudes or lat/long, this process is fairly simple. The globe is divided up into degrees (see map below). One line runs North to South (Longitude) and measures locations East to West. The other runs East to West (Latitude) and measures locations North to South.


Write in your student notebook the title, Latitude and Longitude. Next, list and define the following four words:

- latitude
- longitude
- equator
- prime meridian

Using the following website CLICK HERE, or another applicable resource, do the following: Find the latitude and longitude for the following cities around the world. Record your results in your STUDENT NOTEBOOKS. Write the title at the top of your page, Latitudes and Longitudes. Now using the Latitude Longitude Website find the coordinates for the following cities:

(1) Cedar City, Utah
(2) Los Angeles, California
(3) Paris, France
(4) Anchorage, Alaska
(5) Berlin, Germany
(6) Moscow, Russia
(7) Sydney, Australia
(8) Helsinki, Finland
(9) Miami, Florida
(10) St. George, Utah
(11) Tokyo, Japan
(12) Baghdad, Iraq
(13) Cairo, Egypt
(14) Karachi, Pakistan
(15) Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Satellites make finding the lat/long fairly straight forward. Using a global positioning device, calculations are made from several orbiting satellites to pinpoint an exact position on the globe. For early explorers, trying to find their location was a difficult and sometimes, nearly impossible task. Imagine standing on a ship that is being tossed in the ocean trying to take accurate readings from a quadrant or astrolabe. Even the tinniest error in calculations would result in large errors in navigation. More about early navigation and quadrants and astrolabes in upcoming lessons.

Challenge Questions (Extra Knowledge) Now read each of the questions listed below, ponder them, research (search on the Internet) the questions, perhaps take a few notes on them to help you remember what you find. We will discuss what you found later during class.

1. Why if the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are at the same level (sea level) are the use of locks necessary for the Panama Canal?

2. Why does our world have seasons? In other words, why do we here in Cedar City have a warm SUMMER, cool FALL, cold WINTER and cool SPRING season. Hint, think about how the sun's ray hit against the position of the earth.

3. Early Greek mathematicians calculated the circumference (the distance around our earth). This was done more than 2,000 years ago before people even had traveled around the entire earth. So, how was this done. The most accurate calculations were made by a man named Erastosthenes (think: era - toss - the - knees). CLICK HERE for the information Erastosthenes used to make this calculation. Can you come up with what he did to find the earth's circumference?

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