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abbreviations: latitude and longitude

Do not abbreviate the words latitude and longitude when they are used alone or in ordinary prose:

  • What is the latitude of the Tropic of Cancer
  • The wreck was found at 36° 07’ 25’’ north latitude and 15° 24’ 00’’ west longitude.

However, in technical work and when lists of co-ordinates are given, use the abbreviations lat and long (which usually appear without periods). In technical contexts, the spaces between the degrees, minutes and seconds may be dropped:

  • lat 42° 15’ 30’’ N
  • lat 18° 40’ 16’’ S
  • long 89° 17’ 45’’ W
  • long 20° 19’ 22’’ E