GPS Lon­gi­tu­de and Latitude

Remem­ber Lon­gi­tu­de and Lati­tu­de — about the dif­fi­cul­ty of remem­be­ring lon­gi­tu­de and lati­tu­de and how Obe­lix can help with that

You would think that ever­yo­ne in a navi­ga­ti­on soft­ware com­pa­ny would be able to memo­ri­ze lon­gi­tu­de and lati­tu­de right away, even in their dreams. After all, this is the most fun­da­men­tal unit of infor­ma­ti­on in this busi­ness. The lon­gi­tu­de repres­ents how far you are from the equa­tor and the lati­tu­de the distance to Green­wich… or was it the other way around???

lon­gi­tu­de and lati­tu­de on a postit

And yet you always see such yel­low sticky notes stuck to the moni­tor like the ulti­ma­te insu­rance against cata­stro­phic twists!

The point on the glo­be or the point on the map is what we con­stant­ly work with. A navi­ga­ti­on does not know addres­ses, it only knows points. Any­way, befo­re anything can be cal­cu­la­ted, the address is first con­ver­ted into a coor­di­na­te. This is done by the geo­co­der of a navi­ga­ti­on. The result is a pair of num­bers like 50.73658394304897, 7.091699781133922 (our office in Bonn) or ‑55.63739732777102, ‑68.07445351644245 (Tier­ra del Fue­go in Argentina).

Every sail­or or pilot also knows that you first indi­ca­te your posi­ti­on in north/south and then in east/west. Howe­ver, it is a bit more con­fu­sing with soft­ware: If you want to com­mu­ni­ca­te a desti­na­ti­on to the navi via inter­face, you have to trans­fer lon­gi­tu­de and lati­tu­de sepa­ra­te­ly. The docu­men­ta­ti­on defi­nes this quite cle­ar­ly — but what was the lon­gi­tu­de again and what was the lati­tu­de? Is lon­gi­tu­de north/south and lati­tu­de east/west or was it the other way around? So that one does not come here total­ly con­fu­sed, one makes ones­elf nevert­hel­ess rather a small yel­low note at the monitor.

Obe­lix pre­fers lon­gi­tu­di­nal stripes

Or you have a good mne­mo­nic! Obe­lix atta­ches much importance to the fact that he is not fat but big! The­r­e­fo­re he also wears a lon­gi­tu­di­nal stri­ped trou­sers “which makes slim” or just long! Cle­ar­ly, the lon­gi­tu­di­nal stripes on Obelix’s trou­sers cor­re­spond to the lon­gi­tu­des! And the thick green belt is then the latitude.

Quite simp­le: Who has read Aste­rix and Obe­lix exten­si­ve­ly in the child­hood, has clear advan­ta­ges later in the life as a navi­ga­ti­on developer!