Location Worksheet (FRONT)
The first fundamental question asked in geography is, “Where is it located?” In
attempting to answer that question, geographers use the theme of location.
Location can be defined in two ways-absolute and relative. Both of these methods
provide useful information when attempting to answer the question, “Where is it
Absolute location deals with an exact location on the face of the earth. One
example of absolute location is a street address. However, on a map or globe, the
use of a street address is not always practical. For this reason, maps use imaginary
grid lines to help find the correct location of a site. The lines that run east and west
are called parallels. These parallels measure latitude, the distance north or south of
the equator. The equator is an imaginary line that runs around the center of the
Parallels of latitude are measure in degrees. Latitude measures start from the
equator at 0˚. The parallels run as far north as the North Pole which is 90˚ north.
They run as far south as the South Pole, which is 90˚ south. Thus, the equator
divides the earth into two equal hemispheres, the Northern Hemisphere and the
Each place on the face of the earth is located at a line of latitude either north of
south of the equator. Degrees of latitude may be broken down further into minutes
and seconds. A site that is located at 35˚, 15 minutes, and 20 seconds north
latitude would be written as 35˚ 15’ 20”N. The direction from the equator, either
north or south, must be given after any notation.
The earth also has imaginary lines that run north and south on a map or globe.
These lines are called meridians of longitude. They measure the distance east or
west of the prime meridian. The prime meridian (0˚) is a line running through
Greenwich Observatory just outside of London, England. The prime meridian also
divides the world into equal hemispheres, the Eastern Hemisphere and the Western
Lines of longitude run east or west of the prime meridian to the International Date
Line, which is 180˚. Thus, the two hemispheres measure a complete circle of 360˚.
A site located at 100˚, 40 minutes and 15 seconds east of the prime meridian would
be written at 100˚ 40’ 15” E. By using the grid system of latitude and longitude, it
is possible to determine the exact location of any site on the earth.
Location Worksheet (BACK)
Directions: Respond to each of the following.
1. What are the two ways to define location?
2. What is absolute location?
3. What do parallels measure?
4. What does the equator divide?
5. Write the following another way, 58˚, 10 minutes, and 14 seconds north latitude.
(Remember the direction from the equator must be given after any notation!)
6. What do meridians of longitude measure?
7. What does the prime meridian divide?
8. What do you use to determine the exact location of any site on earth?