Do you remember learning about the equator? We all learn about the equator and coordinates on a map when we are in school. If you remember the equator, which I’m sure you do, does it run from north to south or east to west? It runs from east to west, across the middle of the globe, or the world. In order to find coordinates, however, the meridians come into play as well.
If the equator runs from east to west or west to east, either way you want to look at it, then which direction do the meridians run? The meridians of course would run north to south or south to north. How can the meridians run both north to south and south to north? Remember, the world is not flat but in fact a sphere. So that’s why you can essentially say they run in both directions.
Now that you know which way meridians run and which way the equator runs, you’re ready to find coordinates on the map, right? But wait, the equator is only one line running from east to west in the center of the globe or the Earth. However, while the equator is only one line of latitude, you have to consider the other lines of latitude as well. It’s the same with the meridians. Remember, there is the Prime Meridian, and then there are the other meridians or lines of longitude.
Lines of longitude run from north to south or south to north and lines of latitude run from east to west or west to east. Now you’re ready to use those coordinates to map out any place on the globe. I remember doing that for certain types of classwork in school, and it was quite a bit of fun if you ask me.