Geographers deserve to define the area of a place in among two ways: absolute and also loved one. Both are descriptives of where a geographical area is.

Let’s learn about the difference in between absolute and family member location.

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Absolute Location

Absolute place describes the location of a location based upon a resolved point on earth. The the majority of widespread way is to identify the area making use of coordinates such as latitude and also longitude or by the use of a street deal with once available. Absolute area have the right to likewise be the name of the city or region or postal code a allude is located in although this is less precise than utilizing coordinates or an deal with.

Latitude is used to mark the north-south position of a place on the Earth’s surconfront and also arrays from 0 degrees at the equator to 90 degrees at the North and also South Poles. Tbelow are 180 levels of latitude and the distance between each level of latitude is about 69 miles (111 km).

Longitude lines run north-south and also show the place of a allude east-west. Latitude is therefore the angular distance eastern or west of the Prime Meridian. Tright here are 360 degrees of longitude (+180° eastward and −180° westward.).


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Latitude and also Longitude. Image: Djexplo, WikiMedia Commons, public domain

Lines of longitude and latitude crisscross the Planet. A location that is being defined using latitude and longitude will certainly have actually a set of coordinates. Latitude is constantly composed first andlatitude and also longitude are written of levels, minutes, and also seconds (DMS). Latitude and also longitude collaborates deserve to also be created as decimal levels.


An Example of Absolute Location


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A cropped map reflecting the location of the UNITED STATE Capitol. Map: UNITED STATE government, public domain.

Absolute area have the right to also refer to an attend to, the street deal with of the US State Capitol isFirst St SE in Washington, DC 20004. In both instances, absolute place refers to a resolved allude based on an abstract network-related of imaginary locations.

(You could likewise be interested in analysis about:Relative Direction Versus Compass Direction)

Relative Location

Relative place describes the place of a place or entity based on its area via respect to other locations. Relative location, unlike absolute area is not a fixed recommendation. Relative place will certainly therefore adjust based upon the second place.

For example, the USA is located south of Canada. If the place of the USA is defined based upon its loved one place to Venezuela, then it would be described as being north of that nation.

 In the map listed below, a perkid would explain the family member location of Broad River, which flows via North Caroline and South Carolina, in different ways.

A perchild living in Hickory, North Carolina would describe the place of Broad river as flowing southern and slightly west of them. A perchild in Charlotte, North Carolina would certainly define the river as flowing west of them. A person living in Spartanburg, South Carolina would describe the river as being located north and also east of them.


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Map mirroring the relative location of Broad River. Map: Caitlin Dempsey.

Relative area deserve to additionally be expressed in terms of distance, travel time, or expense.

An Example of Relative Location

We can again look at this map of the area about the U.S. Capitol. The north arrow in the upper best hand also edge lets the user recognize the cardinal directions. As a family member place, the UNITED STATE Capitol deserve to be defined as being due west of the U.S. Supreme Court or southwest from the Rusoffer Senate Office Building.


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Map mirroring the area in Washington D.C. approximately the U.S. Capitol. Map: UNITED STATE Government, public doprimary.

Relative Distance and also Absolute Distance

The location could likewise be preferred in regards to exactly how long it would certainly require to travel to the UNITED STATE Capitol Building along particular paths. For instance, the U.S. Capital Building is a approximately six minute walk southwest from the Russell Senate Office Building utilizing Constitution Avenue.

Just like absolute area, absolute distance requires describing the distance from one suggest to another making use of units of measurements. For instance, the U.S. Capitol is 0.3 miles from the The location could additionally be wanted in regards to exactly how long it would take to take a trip to the U.S. Capitol Building. For example, the U.S. Capital Building is a about six minute walk southwest from the Russel Senate Office Building walking along NE Constitution Avenue.

Locator Maps

Relative area have the right to additionally be supplied to administer geographical conmessage. For example, oversee or locator maps show the relative place of a area or entity based on a bigger geographic see. For example, the incollection map below, reflects the family member location of the state of Texas within the United States.


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Locator map for Texas. Map: RuhrfischandAppraiser, GNU Free Documentation License

Instances of Absolute and also Relative Location

Moreexamples of absolute and family member place deserve to be discovered here.

See more: Which One Of The Following Words Is An Irregular Noun Plural? ?


This short article was initially composed in 2016 and has actually given that been updated.

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