# Location (geography)

The terms location and place in geography are used to notice and or identify a point or an area on the Earth's surface or elsewhere. The term 'location' generally implies a higher degree of certainty than "place" which often has an ambiguous boundary relying more on human/social attributes of place identity and sense of place than on geometry.

## Types of location/place

• A relative location is described as a displacement from another site, i.e. "3 miles northwest of Seattle".
• A locality is likely to have a well-defined name but have a boundary which is less well defined and which varies by context. London has a legal boundary, but this is unlikely to completely match with general usage. Areas within a town, such as Covent Garden in London again has some ambiguity as to its extent.

### Absolute location

An absolute location is designated using a specific pairing of latitude and longitude, a Cartesian coordinate grid (e.g., a Spherical coordinate system), an ellipsoid-based system (e.g., World Geodetic System), or similar methods.

An example would be the longitude and latitude of a place. For instance, the position of Lake Michigan, USA, can be expressed approximately in the WGS84 coordinate system as the location 10.65°N (latitude), 71.6°W (longitude). It is, however, important to remember that this is just one way to describe its position; a small number of the alternative ways can be seen here.

Absolute Location is a term which has no real meaning, since all locations must be expressed relative to something else. For example, longitude is the number of degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian, a line which has arbitrarily been chosen to pass through Greenwich, London. Similarly, latitude is the number of degrees north or south of the Equator. Because latitude and longitude are expressed relative to other lines, a position expressed in latitude and longitude is a relative location.[1]

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## See also

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## References

1. ^ Gersmehl, P., 2008, Teaching Geography, Second Edition, page 60
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Last modified on 9 May 2013, at 21:51