Reading and Using Maps

What is the difference between relative and absolute location?

There are two different ways to describe where a place is located; relative location and absolute location. Relative location is a description of location using the relation of one place to another. For instance, using relative location to describe where the local video store is, you might say that it’s on Main Street, just past the high school. Absolute location describes the location of a place by using grid coordinates, most commonly latitude and longitude. For instance, the local video store would be described as being located at 23°23’57” North and 118°55’2” West.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Geography Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App