Dating and geographics
The meridians, for example, are curved arcs, which gives the flat map a three-dimensional appearance.But to convey the likeness of a curved, three-dimensional globe, the Robinson projection must in fact distort shape, area, scale, and distance.It is a rectangular-shaped map in which all longitude and latitude lines are parallel and intersect at right angles (on a globe, meridians are not parallel, but grow narrower, eventually converging at the poles).Near the equator, the scale of the Mercator is accurate, but the farther one moves toward the poles, the greater the distortion—Antarctica in the far south and Greenland in the far north, for example, appear gigantic.
The degrees of longitude run 180° east and 180° west from the prime meridian.(Latitude is always listed first.) A less common format for listing coordinates is in decimal degrees.The Tropic of Cancer, for example, can be expressed in degrees and minutes (23°30' N) or in decimal degrees (23.5° N). The four hemispheres are the Northern and Southern hemispheres, divided by the equator (0° latitude), and the Eastern and Western hemispheres, divided by the prime meridian (0° longitude) and the International Date Line (180°). The Sun is directly overhead the equator at noon on the two equinoxes (March and Sept. The equator divides the globe into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The prime meridian runs through the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich, England (the location was established in 1884 by international agreement).The geographic coordinates of New York City, for example, are 40° N, 74° W, meaning that it is located 40 degrees north latitude and 74 degrees west longitude.Using minutes and seconds as well as degrees, the coordinates for New York would be 40°42'51" N, 74°0'23" W.
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The time at 0° is called Universal Time (UT) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).