# What is a coordinate system?

A coordinate system is a method for identifying the location of a point on the earth. Most coordinate systems use two numbers, a coordinate, to identify the location of a point. Each of these numbers indicates the distance between the point and some fixed reference point, called the origin. The first number, known as the X value, indicates how far left or right the point is from the origin. The second number, known as the Y value, indicates how far above or below the point is from the origin. The origin has a coordinate of 0, 0.

Longitude and latitude are a special kind of coordinate system, called a spherical coordinate system, since they identify points on a sphere or globe. However, there are hundreds of other coordinate systems used in different places around the world to identify locations on the earth. All of these coordinate systems place a grid of vertical and horizontal lines over a flat map of a portion of the earth.

A complete definition of a coordinate system requires the following:

• The projection that is used to draw the earth on a flat map
• The location of the origin
• The units that are used to measure the distance from the origin

Maptitude supports dozens of different coordinate systems

### GIS Mapping Software

Maptitude Mapping Software gives you all of the tools, maps, and data you need to analyze and understand how geography affects you and your business. Maptitude supports dozens of coordinate systems allowing you to work with data from almost any source.