Concept

# Geodetic coordinates

Résumé
Geodetic coordinates are a type of curvilinear orthogonal coordinate system used in geodesy based on a reference ellipsoid. They include geodetic latitude (north/south) φ, longitude (east/west) λ, and ellipsoidal height h (also known as geodetic height). The triad is also known as Earth ellipsoidal coordinates (not to be confused with ellipsoidal-harmonic coordinates). Longitude measures the rotational angle between the zero meridian and the measured point. By convention for the Earth, Moon and Sun, it is expressed in degrees ranging from −180° to +180°. For other bodies a range of 0° to 360° is used. For this purpose, it is necessary to identify a zero meridian, which for Earth is usually the Prime Meridian. For other bodies a fixed surface feature is usually referenced, which for Mars is the meridian passing through the crater Airy-0. It is possible for many different coordinate systems to be defined upon the same reference ellipsoid. Geodetic latitude measures how close to the poles or equator a point is along a meridian, and is represented as an angle from −90° to +90°, where 0° is the equator. The geodetic latitude is the angle between the equatorial plane and a line that is normal to the reference ellipsoid. Depending on the flattening, it may be slightly different from the geocentric latitude, which is the angle between the equatorial plane and a line from the center of the ellipsoid. For non-Earth bodies the terms planetographic latitude and planetocentric latitude are used instead. Ellipsoidal height (or ellipsoidal altitude), also known as geodetic height (or geodetic altitude), is the distance between the point of interest and the ellipsoid surface, evaluated along the ellipsoidal normal vector; it is defined as a signed distance such that points inside the ellipsoid have negative height. Latitude#Geodetic and geocentric latitudes Geodetic latitude and geocentric latitude have different definitions.
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