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Coordinate Systems

Describing the correct location and shape of

features requires a framework for defining realworld locations.
Two Types:
1)Geographic coordinate system
2)Projected coordinate system

Geographic coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is
used to assign geographic locations to
A global coordinate system of
latitude-longitude is one such

Maps represent locations on the earth's surface using

grids, graticules, and tic marks labeled with various
ground locations (both in measures of latitude-longitude
and in projected coordinate systems (such as UTM

The geographic elements contained in various map

layers are drawn in a specific order (on top of one
another) for the given map extent

Latitude and longitude

One method for describing the position of a geographic
location on the earth's surface is using spherical
measures of latitude and longitude. They are measures
of the angles (in degrees) from the center of the earth
to a point on the earth's surface. This reference system
is often referred to as a geographic coordinate system.

Latitude angles are measured in a north-south direction.

The equator is at an angle of 0. Often, the northern
hemisphere has positive measures of latitude and the
southern hemisphere has negative measures of latitude.
Longitude measures angles in an east-west direction.

longitude and latitude can locate exact positions on the

surface of the globe, they are not uniform units of
measure. This is because the equator is the only parallel
as large as a meridian. (Circles with the same radius as
the spherical earth are called great circles. The equator
and all meridians are great circles.)

Projected coordinate systems

Projected coordinate systems are any coordinate system
designed for a flat surface, such as a printed map or a
computer screen.
Units is the metric system.

Map Projection
Are systematic transformation of spheroidal shape of
the earth so that the curved three dimensional shape of
a geographic area on the earth can be represented in 2
dimentions as (x,y)
Projection formulas are mathematical expressions that
convert data from geographic location (longitude
&latitude) on a sphere to represent location on a flat

Map projections using Cartesian

Projected coordinate systems are any coordinate system
designed for a flat surface, such as a printed map or a
computer screen.
2D and 3D Cartesian coordinate systems provide the
mechanism for describing the geographic location and
shape of features using x and y values (and, as you will
read later, by using columns and rows in rasters).

The Cartesian coordinate system uses two axes: one horizontal

(x), representing east-west, and one vertical (y), representing
north-south. The point at which the axes intersect is called the
origin. Locations of geographic objects are defined relative to the
origin, using the notation (x,y), where x refers to the distance
along the horizontal axis, and y refers to the distance along the
vertical axis. The origin is defined as (0,0).
In the illustration below, the notation (4, 3) records a point that is
four units over in x and three units up in y from the origin.

3D coordinate systems
Increasingly, projected coordinate systems also use a Z
value to measure elevation above or below mean sea
In the illustration below, the notation (2, 3, 4) records a
point that is two units over in x and three units in y from
the origin and whose elevation is 4 units above the
earth's surface (such as 4 meters above mean sea

Mathematical representation of the shape of the earths surface.
Datum is defined by spheroid, which approximate the shape of
the earth , its position relative to the center of the earth.
Horizontal datum : define the origin and orientation of longitude
and latitude lines.
Local datum: aligns its spheroid to closely fit the earths surface
in a particular area
Example : NAD27& European Datum of 1950.