Positive/Negative Latitude and Longitude values vs. Cardinal Directions

As I've been taught, lat and long are of following types:

  1. Latitude North
  2. Longitude West
  3. Latitude South
  4. Longitude East

During software development, if I receive two numeric values for lat and log, how can I translate those values into the cardinal directions?

44.389061321549, -114.659369144245

Are these values North or South? East or West?

Answers


Sometimes lat/long are expressed in degrees/minutes/seconds, and require a N, S, E, or W direction to make sense. Decimal latitude and longitude is expressed as either a positive or negative number and doesn't require a cardinal direction. So if you're using decimal values for these, they aren't described as "latitude north" or anything like that.

Positive latitude is above the equator (N), and negative latitude is below the equator (S).

Positive longitude is east of the prime meridian, while negative longitude is west of the prime meridian (a north-south line that runs through a point in England).

Those values you give describe a point somewhere in Idaho (north of the equator and west of the prime meridian).

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.389061321549,+-114.659369144245&sll=-9.275622,-82.089844&sspn=127.12116,270.527344&ie=UTF8&ll=34.016242,-53.4375&spn=118.742407,270.527344&z=3

Notice if you change the latitude value to a negative (-44...), the point is "mirrored" across the equator, ending up somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Same works with the longitude - make it positive, and your point is mirrored across the prime meridian, ending up somewhere in China.


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