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The Challenge: Measure Latitude and Longitude

To pinpoint your position on a map of the world you need to work out your co-ordinates, known as latitude and longitude. Latitude is your position north or south of the Equator. Lines, or parallels, are drawn around the Earth at intervals. The North Pole is assigned the latitude 90° north and the South Pole latitude 90° south.

Lines of longitude, or meridians, are drawn a little differently. The line of longitude corresponding to 0°, which passes through Greenwich in London, is called the Prime (or Greenwich) Meridian. Longitude lines run along the Earth's surface in a north-south direction, and unlike latitude lines, they divide the globe into segments like those of an orange, rather than regular strips.

globe viewed from above the Equator globe viewed from above the North Pole

A geographical globe (a) viewed from above the Equator; (b) viewed from above the North Pole