How GPS and Latitude (Lat) and Longitude (Long) System work?

In the response to the first post, some reader asked “How Google changed addressing system” but before that understanding of basics of GPS. Lat and Long were important.

Global Positioning System (GPS) is world addressing system and GPS coordinate is nothing but two components which we called Lat and Long.

My first blog on How Google changed addressing system.

I mentioned this thing in many places that every place on this earth has their own address in the form of two number which we called lat and long.


Understanding of lat and Long is hard in 3 Dimension (D) but it is very easy in 2D. The shape of the earth is a sphere (3D), Circle (earth shape in 2D form) is 2D form of a sphere, draw two diameter perpendicular to each other. Horizontal diameter is called equator and vertical diameter is called prime meridian. Now mark prime meridian as North, South, and equator as East, West respectively (refer to blow pic).



North-South position point is called Latitude with limit -90 to 90 and East-West position point called Longitude with limit 180 to -180 (This is the reason if you will search latitude greater than 90 or longitude greater than 180 Google map or any other map unable to find any address :)).

That’s it, the intersection of lat and long on any point of the earth is the address of that respective point. The accuracy of respective address depends on various factors and among them one is the extent of accuracy of Lat and Long like Google Map use till six (and six number after decimal is consider as ideal) number after the decimal (21.048618, 78.659363) but Open Street Map use till  10 number (or more for some of the location) after the decimal (21.04861794324536,78.65936279296876).

PS: This post was initially posted on my LinkedIn plus (13/03/2017)

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