, location or place are used to denote a regions
(point, line, or area) on the earth
's surface or elsewhere. The term ''location'' generally implies a higher degree of certainty than ''place'', the latter often indicating an entity with an ambiguous boundary, relying more on human or social attributes of place identity
and sense of place
than on geometry.
, settlement, or populated place is likely to have a well-defined name but a boundary that is not well defined varies by context. London
, for instance, has a legal boundary, but this is unlikely to completely match with general usage. An area within a town, such as Covent Garden
in London, also almost always has some ambiguity as to its extent. In geography, location is considered to be more precise than "place".
A relative location, or situation, is described as a displacement from another site. An example is "3 miles northwest of Seattle
An absolute location is designated using a specific pairing of latitude
in a Cartesian coordinate
grid — for example, a Spherical coordinate system
or an ellipsoid-based system such as the World Geodetic System
— or similar methods. For instance, the position of Lake Maracaibo
in Venezuela can be expressed using the coordinate system as the location 9.80°N (latitude), 71.56°W (longitude). It is, however, just one way. There are several alternative ways.
Absolute locations are also relative locations, since even absolute locations are expressed relative to something else. For example, longitude is the number of degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian
, a line arbitrarily chosen to pass through Greenwich, England
. Similarly, latitude is the number of degrees north or south of the Equator
. Because latitude and longitude are expressed ''relative'' to these lines, a position expressed in latitude and longitude is also a relative location.
* Geographical feature
* Geographical position