A coordinate system is a system which uses one or more numbers, or coordinates, to uniquely determine the position of a point or other geometric element. Do not use this tag for questions regarding longitude and latitude. Please use [geospatial] instead.

Do not use this tag for questions regarding longitude and latitude. Please use instead.


Summary

A coordinate system is a system which uses one or more numbers, or coordinates, to uniquely determine the position of a point or other geometric element. This is done by assigning an n-tuple of numbers or scalars to each point in an n-dimensional space.

For example, the Cartesian coordinate system uses a 2-tuple system of (x,y) coordinates to specify locations on a 2 dimensional plane.

Common Coordinate Systems

  • Polar - 2 dimensional system using a distance and angle.
  • Cartesian - n dimensional system. Most commonly used versions are the 2 dimensional (x,y) and 3 dimensional (x,y,z) versions.
  • Atlas Grid - 2 dimensional system that uses alpha characters to denote one direction, and numbers to denote the other. For example:

    A1  A2  A3
    B1  B2  B3
    C1  C2  C3
    

Click here for a more complete list of coordinate systems.

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