Maine: An Encyclopedia
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Latitude and Longitude

Latitude

Maine, while sometimes appearing to be the northernmost of the 48 contiguous states, actually ranks sixth after Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

Latitude measures the vertical distance, in degrees, north and south from the Earth’s equator, which is at 0 degrees. The North Pole is at 90 degrees north. Maine is just about in the middle since the 45 degree line (or 45th parallel) splits the state almost at its midpoint.

Latitude is expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Each degree represents about 60 nautical miles or 69 statute miles (our common land measure). Each minute is about 1.15 statute miles.

Latitudes expressed below use the notation 43:05, representing 43 degrees, 5 minutes. All are north latitude.

From Kittery (43:05) to Forth Kent (47:14), Maine spans four degrees of latitude, or a bit over 286 statute miles. Other places similarly located include southern France, northern Italy, Romania, Mongolia, Manchuria in northeast China, Vladivostok in eastern Russia, and the northern Japanese Island of Hokkaido.

Interestingly, Bangor, Maine (44:10) is about as far north of the equator as is Bangor, New York (44:48); Bangor, Wisconsin (43:53); Bangor, Iowa (42:10); and, a bit further north, Bangor, Washington (47:43).

Portland, Maine (43:40) is at about the same latitude as Portland, Oregon (45:30).

European countries that are completely or mostly further north than Maine include the following: Ireland, Britain, all Scandinavian countries, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia.

Longitude

Longitude is a measure of east-west position, based on the prime meridian passing through Greenwich, England. The center of Maine is 69 degrees of longitude west of Greenwich.

Places north of Maine within a degree either side of 69 are the Canadian Province of Quebec, Canada’s Baffin Island above the Arctic Circle, and the western most tip of Greenland.

To the south lies the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, the southeastern area of Peru, the western edge of Brazil, Chile, and the western edge of Argentina.

The western most part of Maine is the northwest corner of Bowmantown Township in Oxford County at West 70 degrees, 5 minutes, 00 seconds, or W70:05:00.  In the east, West Quoddy Head in the town of Lubec extends most eastward. The lighthouse there is at W66:57:04.

Images in the Encyclopedia with an the “at” icon @ in their captions contain latitude and longitude coordinates taken at the location of the camera. The coordinates are visible in the caption of the enlarged image.

Additional resources

Several Internet web sites provide latitude, longitude and other information about many places in the United States and in the rest of the world, including

http://mapping.usgs.gov/www/gnis/gnisform.html

http://www.mit.edu:80/geo

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