Think of these lines as a geographic coordinate system that can help you pinpoint any location across the globe.

You might live in a small town just outside of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. You might be able to tell someone that you live in Chesterton next to the downtown Pavilion. Someone who lived locally would understand, but someone from another state or country would have no idea where you are referring to. What if it was critical for that person to locate your position? That is where the geographical coordinate system comes in. Every location on the globe can be located by its position horizontally (latitude) matched with its position vertically (longitude). Latitude is an imaginary line that spans the globe east to west. Longitude is its counterpart and spans north to south. Global addresses are formatted by latitude followed by longitude or a Lat/Long measure.

We find ourselves every day using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to get us from where we are to where we are going. This system is based on the measures of latitude and longitude to locate exact points. These worksheets examine the ins and outs of finding the exact location of you spot on the Earth. What does it mean and how do we interpret it? These worksheets start by looking at what each of those imaginary lines represents and how we use them to pinpoint spots on the globe and also in the sense of keeping accurate time where people can enjoy the most daylight. We then look back at the history of navigation and how we travelled the globe prior to Global Positioning Systems. We also take a look at how your latitudinal position dictates the natural resources available to you.

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What Are These Lines?

There are 360 degrees of longitude and 180 degrees of latitude (90° to the north of the Equator and 90° to the south of the Equator).

What Are These Lines? Multiple Choice Questions

Latitude and longitude are expressed as a pair of degree (°) coordinates where latitude is the horizontal coordinate and longitude is the vertical coordinate.

Time Zones

Time zones are regions of the Earth which each observe a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social reasons. The Earth is divided into 37 different time zones.

Time Zones - Short Answer Questions

All the time zones on the Earth are offset from UTC by a designated number of minutes. Many time zones are offset from each other by exactly an hour.

John Harrison

In 1714, the English government issued the Longitude Act, offering a cash prize to anyone who could solve the problem of determining the precise longitude of a ship while at sea.

QUESTIONS: John Harrison

John Harrison was a carpenter and a clockmaker. His clocks were remarkably accurate for their time, losing only about one second a month. Harrison determined to win the prize by creating a portable clock that would be accurate to within three seconds a day.

The Longitude Act

Latitude can be measured at sea using the sun, but prior to the 1700s, there was no reliable way of determining longitude at sea.

QUESTIONS: The Longitude Act

Astronomers of the time felt that the best way to measure longitude was to use create a catalog of star positions and then determine longitude by measuring the motion of the moon relative to the stars.

Lunar Distance Method

The lunar distance method was a way of determining longitude at sea by measuring how far the moon had moved in relationship to the stars, much like looking at a hand (the moon) moving across the face of the clock (the stars).

QUESTIONS: Lunar Distance Method

The lunar distance method required an instrument for making observations and marking angles and accurate charts and tables of moon and star positions.

Latitude and Biomes Reading Passage

A biome is a large geographical area with a unique set of environmental conditions and a unique combination of plants and animals particularly suited to these conditions that live there.

QUESTIONS: Latitude and Biomes

The closer a biome is to the Equator, the higher its temperatures.

Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn

The Tropic of Cancer is the latitude 23.5° North. At this latitude, the sun is directly overhead at noon on June 21st, which marks the beginning of the summer for the northern hemisphere.

QUESTIONS: Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn

The Tropic of Capricorn is the latitude 23.5° South. At this latitude, the sun is directly overhead at noon on December 21st, which marks the beginning of the winter for the northern hemisphere.

Latitude and Climate

The farther a location is from the Equator, the sharper the angle with which sunlight strikes the Earth. This means that higher latitudes get less sunlight, and thus less heat, than lower latitudes.

Latitude and Climate - Short Answer Questions

This difference in the amount of sunlight any given location receives is one of the main factors in what climate exists there. There are three main climate zones: arctic, temperate, and tropic.

Latitude and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system gradually and progressively damages the protective covering of nerves.

Latitude and Multiple Sclerosis - Questions

MS can affect the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves in the eyes and affects everyone who has it differently.

The Prime Meridian and the International Date Line

The International Date Line (IDL), also known as the line of demarcation, is an imaginary line on the Earth's surface that indicates where one day ends and the next day begins.

The Prime Meridian and the International Date Line - Short Answer

The International Date Line stretches from the North Pole down to the South Pole.