Navigation - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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Early Navigational Foundations

To aid in navigation and map making, a coordinate system was created using virtual lines of latitude and longitude that cross at 90 degree angles. Latitude is referenced to a circle circumscribed around the Earth called the equator, which is at what is called zero latitude. North of the equator, the latitude lines are parallel to the equator and are called "north latitude." The geographical North Pole is 90 degrees north latitude and the circle at that latitude has such a small radius it is virtually a point. The South Pole is 90 degrees south latitude. The angle of latitude is the angular difference between two lines: one drawn from the center of the Earth to the equator and one drawn from the center of the Earth to the latitude in question.

Longitude lines also run around the Earth but through the North and South Poles. The...

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This section contains 1,438 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences
Navigation from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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