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Journal Article

Geographical Reference Systems

Keith Clayton
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 137, No. 1 (Mar., 1971), pp. 1-13
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/1795355
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1795355
Page Count: 13

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Topics: Reference systems, Maps, Longitude, Latitude, Geodetic position, Surface areas, Uniforms, Geography, Towns
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Geographical Reference Systems
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Abstract

Locations and areas on the surface of the Earth may be labelled by Geographical Reference Systems. The most commonly used system is latitude and longitude, which is well adapted to a spherical earth. Area referencing by the graticule is cumbersome, and many alternatives have been proposed, such as Marsden Squares, the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid, Geo-Code and the Global Reference Code (GRC). These, and some other systems, are described. Many systems are not equal-area, which is a disadvantage when plotting or analysing distributions. Geo-Code makes effective use of a standard 80-column punch-card, while the Global Reference Code makes good use of the power of a modern computer. No existing system for areas seems so good that it could be adopted as a world standard. For point location, latitude and longitude are likely to remain in wide use.

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