Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
podcast
Filter by Categories
ArcGIS Pro
GDAL
GeoJson
Map
Python
QGIS
Uncategorized

Coordinates 0, 0 & The Origin of Null Island

The Prime Meridian and the Equator are two essential lines used in the geographic coordinate system to define the latitude and longitude of a location on the Earth’s surface.

The Prime Meridian

The Prime Meridian is an imaginary line, last established in 1851, that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. It is the reference line for longitude, with longitude values measured in degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian. Longitude values range from -180 to 180 degrees.

The Equator

The Equator is an imaginary line that circles the Earth and is equidistant from the poles. It is the reference line for latitude, with latitude values measured in degrees north or south of the Equator. Latitude values range from -90 to 90 degrees.

Together, the Prime Meridian and the Equator form the basis of the geographic coordinate system, which is used to represent positions on the Earth’s surface and to locate and map features such as cities, rivers, and mountains.

“0 0” Coordinates

These coordinates correspond to the location where the equator and the prime meridian intersect. This location is where the equator and the prime meridian intersect and is often referred to as the “origin” of the geographic coordinate system. It is used as a reference point to locate other points on the Earth’s surface.

Null Island

Null Island is a reference to a location on the Earth’s surface that is said to exist at the coordinates “0 degrees latitude, 0 degrees longitude”. These coordinates are at the intersection of the equator and the prime meridian, which are the reference lines used to define the latitude and longitude of a location on the Earth’s surface.

However, Null Island does not actually exist as a physical place. It is a virtual location that is sometimes used to represent a point with undefined or unknown coordinates in geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping applications. For example, if a dataset includes a record with missing or incorrect latitude and longitude values, it may be plotted at Null Island on a map as a placeholder.

The concept of Null Island has become a popular meme in the geospatial community. It is sometimes used as a humorous reference to highlight the importance of accuracy and completeness in geographic data.

FAQs

Is 0 0 a valid coordinate?

Yes, “0 degrees latitude, 0 degrees longitude” is a valid coordinate in a geographic coordinate system, which is used to represent positions on the Earth’s surface. In this system, latitude values range from -90 to 90 degrees, and longitude values range from -180 to 180 degrees. The origin (0, 0) represents the location where the equator and the prime meridian intersect, which is often referred to as the “starting point” of the geographic coordinate system.

What is 0 0 called on a map?

Null Island, However, Null Island does not actually exist as a physical place it is just a concept.

About the Author
I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.