What are the Parallels of Latitude and Meridians of Longitude?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Parallels of Latitude and Meridians of Longitude: Parallels of latitude run parallel to the equator and are expressed in degrees (°). Meridians of longitude are imaginary vertical lines that connect the North Pole to the South Pole. These lines run along the prime meridian. Longitudes are expressed by minutes (′). Latitude and longitude are imaginary lines that run across the surface of the Earth.

Parallels of Latitude and Meridians of Longitude

Parallels of latitude refer to the angular distance in degrees, minutes, and seconds of a point north or south of the equator. Latitude lines are often said to be parallel. Parallels are the lines that join places with the same latitudes.

While latitudes run horizontally, longitudes are imagined to run vertically across the globe. The latitude of a place on the surface of the earth is the distance north or south of the equator, measured as the angle from the center of the Earth with that location’s meridian.

  • The meridian prime (Greenwich) of longitude refers to the angular distance of a point east or west of the meridian, in degrees, minutes, and seconds.
  • Longitude lines are often called meridians. At the equator, meridians intersect at right angles.
  • Unlike parallels of latitude, they are all equal in length.
  • The parallels and meridians can help in locating any place on the earth.
  • By combining latitude and longitude, cartographers, geographers, and others can pinpoint exact global locations.
  • They are part of a coordinate system for finding or locating geographic positions.

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