Difference between Longitude and Latitude
By Rebecca Rodriguez - June 19, 2023

The principal geographical (and mathematical) concepts of longitude and latitude are used to pinpoint the exact location of features on the Earth’s surface. Since experts have used them in various scientific domains for ages, it may be simple to mix them up. Miners, explorers, and mariners are a few examples of these professionals.


Longitude, typically stated in degrees and minutes, is the angular distance of a location east or west of the Greenwich meridian or west of the standard meridian of a celestial object. Meridians are arcs of equal longitude that connect sites on either side of the poles.

The Latitude coordinate indicates the north-south position of a point on the surface of the Earth or another celestial body. Latitude is measured as an angle, with 0° at the Equator and values ranging from -90° South Pole to 90° North Pole. As circles parallel to the Equator, lines of constant latitude, or parallels, run from east to west.

Longitude vs. Latitude

The difference between the two is most apparent when considering that latitude denotes the north-south geographic coordinates that indicate a point’s distance from the Equator. Longitude refers to the geographic coordinate that suggests a site’s distance from the Prime Meridian on the east and west sides.

Comparison Chart
  1. Longitudes are known as Meridians
Latitudes are also known as Parallels.
  1. There are 360 lines of longitude
There are 181 lines of latitude.
  1. Lines of Longitude help to classify time zones
Lines of Latitude help to classify the different heat or temperature zones
  1. The range of longitude is from 0 to 360 degrees
The distance of latitude is from 0 to 180 degrees.
  1. The central reference point of the lines of longitude is the Prime Meridian.
The central reference point of the lines of latitude is the Equator.
  1. Lines of longitude are not parallel and are unequal in length.
Lines of latitude are parallel and equal in length.