Difference Between Latitude and Longitude (With Table)

Earth is divided into many parts, most of which is covered with water, but the rest which is covered in land is further divided into different countries, islands, etc. the locations and positions of these places are difficult to determine but with the help of latitudes and longitudes is has becomes easier. Prior to their invention, it was an impossible task to determine the position of every area or place.

Now both sound similar and do have some similarities, despite which they are different from each other. Following are all-important differences between latitudes and longitudes that will help understand them.

Latitude vs Longitude

The difference between latitude and longitude is that both of them are known by different names. Latitude is also called parallels, while for longitude, another name is meridians. The lengths of latitude lines are different, whereas the lengths of the lines of longitude are the same. The zones of latitude are the heat zones whole time zones are the longitude zones. Both of them have different numbers as lines; latitude has a total of 180 lines while longitude has a total of 360 lines. Apart from these, they also have different ranges; a range of Latitude is between 0 to 90 degrees while of Longitude it is 0 to 180 degrees. Other differences between them are mentioned below.

Latitude is a geographical coordinate used for the identification of north and south positions of areas or places on earth. It ranges in between the angle of 0 to 90 degrees. Lines of latitude are circular and are parallel to each other. It has a total of 180 lines, and all of them are unequal. The zones divided by these lines are classified as heat zones. It is also called parallel.

Longitude is a geographical coordinate used for the identification of east and west positions of areas or places on earth. It ranges in between the angle of 0 to 360 degrees. It is also known as meridians. It has a total of 360 lines, and all of them have the same length. And the zones divided by them are classified as time zones. These lines run up and down or in the vertical direction and are not parallel to each other.

Comparison Table Between Latitude and Longitude

Parameters of ComparisonLatitudeLongitude
Also known asParallelsMeridians
Length of linesDifferent or unequalSame or equal
Classifies asHeat zonesTime zones
Number of lines180 lines360 lines
RangeBetween 0 to 90 degreeBetween 0 to 180 degree

What is Latitude?

Latitude lines form circles around the globe, all of which are parallel (also the reason why it is also known as Parallel) in the east and west direction. It measures the distance between north and south from the point of the equator. There are a total of 180 imaginary lines on the globe. And the zone classified by them is called heat zones.

It separates the earth into two hemispheres; the northern hemisphere, the lower half of the globe, and the southern hemisphere, the upper half of the globe. The range of it lies in between 0 to 90 degrees, one degree of which is equal to 69 miles or 111 kilometers and is called arcdegree.

As the lines of latitude come closer to the pole, it gets shorter; therefore, center lines are the largest or longer.

It is represented in the Greek letter Phi. Circles of it include the Antarctic Circle, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle.

What is Longitude?

There is no natural starting point of it like latitude. The prime meridian is an imaginary line situated at the center that goes north-south pole. It is used for measuring the distance between the east or west of the prime meridian. It divided the earth into two hemispheres, the eastern hemisphere and the western hemisphere. The prime meridian is situated at 0 degrees, and the farthest is at 180 degrees; therefore, it ranges from 0 to 180 degrees. It does not maintain a constant distance, and hence, many degrees of longitude can be crossed within a small distance, or there might be a time distance between short distanced areas.

It is represented with the help of the Greek Letter lambda. And it has a total of 360 lines of equal length and is situated at a distance of 0 degrees (it is divided into 60 minutes and equal to 69 miles). It zones are classified as time zones.

Main Differences Between Latitude and Longitude

  1. Both of them are indeed used as geographical coordinates for the determination of locations and position/distance. But the difference is in the direction they are used. For the north to south, the lines used for directions are of longitude, while latitude lines are used for the direction from east to west.
  2. Both of them are also represented by different letters of Greek. For Greek, the latitude letter used is phi, while for longitude represented Greek letter lambda is used.
  3. They have different ranges; the range of longitude is comparatively larger or bigger as its range is from 0 to 180 degrees, whereas the range of latitude covers fewer degrees, i.e., its range is from 0 to 90 degrees.
  4. Meridians of longitude are the lines that run from one pole to another pole, and the parallel lines or circles formed from the equator of the north to the poles of the south are the parallels of latitude.
  5. When compared in the number of lines, longitude is ahead of latitude as it has more number of lines, a total number of lines of longitude is 360, and all of them are equal in length while only 180 total lines are there is latitude and these are not equal in length.
  6. Latitude divides the earth into, northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere, whereas the eastern hemisphere and western hemisphere are the divided hemispheres of longitude.


Hence, with all the above information, there should not be any confusion between latitudes and longitudes. It is important to understand these concepts to study or have general knowledge of earth, and confusion between them can lead to chaos and embarrassment in front of others. They are similar as both of them are used for the identification of location or places

. Both of them are measurable, i.e., minutes, degrees, seconds. Both of them are imaginary curved lines on the surface of the earth. Both of them plays an important role in the determination of the position of planets and ships by pilots or captain of the ship as they are geographical coordinates.


  1. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/92JD01392
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/156178
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pms.2003.97.2.401
  4. https://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0204064
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0019103566900364
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352431620303011
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