Types of Location: Absolute Location and Relative Location (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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Geographer can describe the location of a place in one of two ways:

1. Absolute location

2. Relative location

Both are descriptions of where a geographic location. Location is connected to both physical geography and human geography.

What is Location

Types of Location

There are two types of location:

Types of Geographic Location
  • A relative location is the position of something relative to another landmark. For example, you might say you are 50 miles west of Houston.
  • An absolute location describes a fixed position that never changes, regardless of your current location. It is identified by specific coordinates, such as latitude and longitude
Managing Uncertain Location

Absolute Location

The first type of location is called “absolute location” and will give us a definitive, measurable, fixed point in space. Every object on earth has its fix location value which is known as absolute location. Absolute location of an object is calculated by reference system of earth known as spherical grid system.

The absolute location of a place does not change such as the address of a place or the latitude and longitude of a place.

Latitude is used to mark the north-south position of a location on the Earth՚s surface and ranges from 0 degrees at the equator to 90 degrees at the North and South Poles.

Equator, Prime Meridian, Latitude and Longitude

Longitude runs south-north and shown as vertical line. It defines as north-south in prime meridian. Longitude is ranging from to eastward and westward.

Formula to calculate absolute location:

Where, are the geographical latitude of .

For example, latitude and longitude of Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Map Location- Latitude and Longitude

Relative Location

Relative location of a city or destination on the planet is its relationship to another place or nearby landmarks. Relative location refers to a proximity of where an object is located.

It changes depending on the person describing the location. For example, you may look at the position of one city relative to another or the position of a bowling alley relative to the center of town.

Formula to calculate relation location:


  • Difference in the x directions or longitude
  • Difference in the y directions or latitude

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