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Modernizing Geography with ArcGIS: Finding Latitude and Longitude

Let’s make learning about Latitude and Longitude fun with ArcGIS! This post will highlight a tutorial that can be used to jazz up this unit in your Geography class.

This is the second post in our Modernizing Geography with ArcGIS series, and it’s about Latitude and Longitude! So throw away your papers and pencils, and let’s get started!

Latitude and Longitude can be tricky to visualize, teach and understand. That’s why integrating ArcGIS Online into this unit will help you and your students “get it” and enjoy the process of learning.

We put together a short ArcGIS Online tutorial to make learning about Latitude and Longitude fun, interesting and educational! In 40 minutes, students will be able to locate their favourite place in Canada and explain the concept of Latitude and Longitude to their classmates.

Let’s look at the first section of the new Where on Earth? tutorial.

In Part 1, students will click around the ArcGIS Online web map to learn about Latitude and Longitude.

A map showing the concept of Latitude and Longitude.

ArcGIS Online allows students to visualize the concept of Latitude and Longitude.

In Part 2, students test their knowledge by finding the Latitude and Longitude coordinates in Canada and the world. They search for the coordinate values on a web map that include the lines of Latitude and Longitude measured in degrees.

The optional Extension Exercise allows students to view Latitude and Longitude in 3D! Using Scene Viewer, an app in ArcGIS Online, students explore and find places of interest on a globe of the world. This gives them a different perspective of where lines of Latitude and Longitude meet and help to define a location on the Earth!

A map showing the concept of Latitude and Longitude on a globe in the Scene Viewer app.

The Extension Exercise is a great way to view how the lines of Latitude and Longitude define our location on the Earth.

Let us know what you are up to with ArcGIS this school year by filling out the Let’s Get Spatial Canada survey and add your activity to the ArcGIS Dashboard!

A dashboard showing K-12 ArcGIS activities across Canada.

Add your ArcGIS activity to the survey and view it on the Let’s Get Spatial Canada dashboard!

We want to hear from educators

You can share activities that you want to update with ArcGIS. Our group can support you with ideas and suggestions. Email us at

New to ArcGIS Online?

If you are new to ArcGIS Online, educators can request an account for themselves and their students at

Explore the Esri Canada K-12 Resource Finder to find other resources for your class.

Check out the following beginner resources to get started with ArcGIS Online:

For Educators - Let’s get started with ArcGIS Online
Explore the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For Students – Enroute with ArcGIS Online

Using ArcGIS Online and want to learn more?

Discover Story Maps
Creating ArcGIS Dashboards 

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.


About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Specialist in the Esri Canada Education and Research group. She has over 15 years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela focuses on producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum-specific resources, and conducting and creating custom workshops for educators. She manages the GIS Ambassador Program and is the Technical Chair for the annual Skills Ontario GIS competition. Angela also writes monthly posts for the Esri Canada Education and Research blog, highlighting K-12 educators and partners, new ArcGIS resources and GIS-related events.

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