Measurement of Latitude and Longitude

One degree is divided into 60 minutes. Normally, 1 minute is divided into 60 seconds; however, this is rather cumbersome when measuring on a chart, so for navigation purposes, 1 minute is divided using the decimal notation; so, we write down (and say) degrees, minutes and tenths (or hundredths or thousandths) of a minute.

So, for instance, 35 degrees, 43 minutes and 456-thousandths of a minute is written as 35° 43.456'.

Thus, we write a position as

Latitude 35 degrees 43.456 minutes North. Longitude 026 degrees 12.765 minutes East.

We use the format,

The maximum number of degrees latitude is 90 and the maximum number of degrees longitude is 180.

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