Latitude & Longitude Lesson for Kids: Definition, Examples & Facts

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  • 0:04 Where Can I Find You?
  • 0:24 Global Latitude & Longitude
  • 1:02 Latitude
  • 1:30 Longitude
  • 1:57 Minutes and Seconds
  • 2:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jenna Conan

Jenna is a fourth grade teacher with a master's degree in instructional design and an undergraduate degree in elementary education.

The world is very big, so how can you find a specific place you're looking for on a map? In this lesson, you'll learn about latitude and longitude. Latitude and longitude are some of the most basic and important geography terms, and are used to find the locations of places on a map.

Where Can I Find You?

Imagine you're going on a trip to London and your friend wants to find it on a map, but has no idea where it is. You could tell your friend the latitude and longitude, and your friend would be able to easily locate London on the map. Latitude and longitude are imaginary lines that help you find the location of anywhere in the world on a map. Let's find out more about how this works.

Global Latitude & Longitude

Imagine the world as a globe, or a 3-dimensional ball. Just like in math, a globe is circular, and a circle is 360 degrees. The globe is split into an imaginary 360 sections from both top to bottom (north to south) and 180 sections from side to side (west to east). The sections running from top to bottom on a globe are called longitude, and the sections running from side to side on a globe are called latitude. An easy way to remember this is to think of longitude as how long or tall something is, and latitude as 'fatitude,' or how wide across something is.


Latitude and longitude both start at 0 degrees. Zero degrees latitude is the equator, which is the imaginary line all the way around the middle of the globe horizontally. The latitude of the North Pole is 90°N (for north), and the latitude of the South Pole is 90°S (for south). One degree of latitude covers about 69 miles, but maps usually skip count by every 10 degrees of latitude to make it easier to see the lines.

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