How to Convert Degrees of Latitude to Miles

••• Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

In order to measure distances and locations on the Earth's surface, scientists use a system of imaginary lines called latitude and longitude. Longitude runs north and south and is used to measure distances that are east and west. Alternatively, latitude runs east and west and is used to measure distances that are north and south. Because of the Earth's curvature, lines of latitude are equidistant to each other (as opposed to the curved lines of longitude). As such, it is easy to convert latitude into miles.

    Divide the amount of miles by the degrees in a circle. The circumference of the earth along the equator is 24,901.92 miles, and there are 360 degrees in a circle. This results in about 69.2 miles. That is the approximate distance between each degree of latitude.

    Find the two points of degrees of latitude that you are measuring. In this example, our longitude points remain the same because we are only dealing with latitude.

    Find the amount of degrees between the two points. Keep in mind, lines of latitude south of the equator will be listed as negative lines, meaning you need to use the absolute value of the lines. Let's say we're finding the distance between 20 degrees north and -10 degrees south. That is a total of 30 degrees.

    Take the amount of degrees and multiply it by 69.2 miles, which we found in Step 1. For our example of 30 miles, you have a distance of 2,076 miles.

Related Articles

Montessori-Inspired Toys & Kits for Your Little Scientist
How to Convert Latitude & Longtitude Into Feet
How to Convert Latitude to Feet
How to Convert Distances From Degrees to Meters
How Do I Calculate Latitude Differences?
How to Convert Radian to Minutes
What Does "Geographic Location" Mean?
How to Convert GPS Coordinates to Feet
How to Compare KTS to MPH in Wind Speed
How to Convert Arcseconds to Parsecs
How to Calculate Longitude from Right Ascension
How to Read Protractors
How to Understand Latitude and Longitude
What Is the Equator's Latitude?
How to Convert Miles to 10ths of a Mile
What Are Statute Miles?
How to Convert Degrees into Inches or Millimeters
How to Find the Radius of a Hexagon
How to Calculate UTM Convergence
How to Do a 45 Rolling Offset
How to Calculate the Winter Solstice Sun Angle