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Natural Environment How Human History has been impacted by the environment, science, nature, geography, weather, and natural phenomena


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Old December 29th, 2017, 06:08 AM   #1
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The division of earth into "hemispheres".


A short remark: The division into a Northern and Southern hemisphere seems in a way reasonable, though it would have been simpler to start counting lattitude at one of the poles. The division into an eastern and western seems from a geographical point of view completely arbitrary. It must be based upon England being the leading seapower and global power some centuries back in History, but why did "the world" accept the Greenwich-Merdidian?
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasus View Post
A short remark: The division into a Northern and Southern hemisphere seems in a way reasonable, though it would have been simpler to start counting lattitude at one of the poles. The division into an eastern and western seems from a geographical point of view completely arbitrary. It must be based upon England being the leading seapower and global power some centuries back in History, but why did "the world" accept the Greenwich-Merdidian?
France was the main competitor based on the Paris Observatory. It was the meridian that was used to estimate the length of the quadrant from the North Pole to Equator through the meridian of Paris (based on surveys in France). The meter was defined as one 10 millionth of this distance (10,000 km) during the French Revolution. As might be expected, there was a small error, but enough so that one could not say the meter was a "natural" unit. Nevertheless that's the meter that has since been used. In 1851, an international convention in London adopted the Greenwich Meridian which is only a little over 2 degrees west of the Paris meridian. London was a major port, Paris wasn't. It became the world standard in 1884.

BTW,the Prime Meridian was moved in 1988 102 meters east based on satellite data

http://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explor...dian-Greenwich

Last edited by stevev; December 30th, 2017 at 01:26 AM.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 03:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by stevev View Post
France was the main competitor based on the Paris Observatory. It was the meridian that was used to estimate the length of the quadrant from the North Pole to Equator through the meridian of Paris (based on surveys in France). The meter was defined as one 10 millionth of this distance (10,000 km) during the French Revolution. As might be expected, there was a small error, but enough so that one could not say the meter was a "natural" unit. Nevertheless that's the meter that has since been used. In 1851, an international convention in London adopted the Greenwich Meridian which is only a little over 2 degrees west of the Paris meridian. London was a major port, Paris wasn't. It became the world standard in 1884.

BTW,the Prime Meridian was moved in 1988 102 meters east based on satellite data

What is the Prime Meridian and why is it in Greenwich? | Explore Royal Museums Greenwich
And Greenwich will also sooner or later move a significant distance due to continental drift.
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