In 1785, a government survey cataloged much of the legal descriptions for the area known as United States. This survey established:
- Meridians: North/South lines. These lines all intersect with each other at the Earth poles.
- Parallels: East/West lines. Called parallels because they never intersect with each other and are… parallel.
Beyond this, there are global labels that align with these definitions.
- Latitude: Lines that are lateral across the globe. They measure distance from the equator.
- Latitude lines are made up of parallels.
- LATitude = LATerals (horizontal)
- Base line: Some parallels are designated as baselines, such as the Equator
- Longitude: Lines that run vertically across the globe. They measure distances East/West.
- Longitude lines are made up of meridians.
- LONGitude = LONGest lines of measurement on the globe.
- Principal Meridians: Some longitudes are designated as principal meridians.
Checks, Townships, Sections
It can be hard to remember these, as a silly remembrance, we use Cadillac CTS to remember the order of Check, Township, Section (Large to Small).
- Checks: Lines that are 24 miles apart.
- 1 Check = 576 Square miles
- Townships: Each Check is divided into 16 townships.
- Each Township is 6×6 miles large (36 Square Miles)
- Numbered as being North/South of the Baseline (Equator), and East/West of the Principal Meridian.
Section: Each township is divided into 36 Sections. Each Section is 1×1 mile (1 square miles)