180th meridian

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Line across the Earth
180th meridian
The International Date Line zigzags around the 180th Meridian.

The 180th meridian or antimeridian [1] is the meridian 180° east or west of the Prime Meridian, with which it forms a great circle dividing the earth into the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. It is common to both east longitude and west longitude. It is used as the basis for the International Date Line because it mostly passes through the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. However, the meridian passes through Russia and Fiji as well as Antarctica.

Starting at the North Pole and heading south to the South Pole, the 180th meridian passes through:

Co-ordinates
(approximate)
Country, territory or sea Notes
90°0′N 180°0′E / 90.000°N 180.000°E / 90.000; 180.000 (Arctic Ocean) Arctic Ocean
71°32′N 180°0′E / 71.533°N 180.000°E / 71.533; 180.000 (Russia)   Russia Chukotka Autonomous OkrugWrangel Island
70°58′N 180°0′E / 70.967°N 180.000°E / 70.967; 180.000 (Chukchi Sea) Chukchi Sea
68°59′N 180°0′E / 68.983°N 180.000°E / 68.983; 180.000 (Russia)   Russia Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
65°02′N 180°0′E / 65.033°N 180.000°E / 65.033; 180.000 (Bering Sea) Bering Sea
52°0′N 180°0′E / 52.000°N 180.000°E / 52.000; 180.000 (Amchitka Pass) Amchitka Pass Passing just east of Semisopochnoi Island, Alaska,   United States (at 51°57′N 179°47′E / 51.950°N 179.783°E / 51.950; 179.783 (Semisopochnoi Island))
51°0′N 180°0′E / 51.000°N 180.000°E / 51.000; 180.000 (Pacific Ocean) Pacific Ocean Passing just east of Nukulaelae atoll,   Tuvalu (at 9°25′S 179°52′E / 9.417°S 179.867°E / -9.417; 179.867 (Nukulaelae atoll))
Passing just west of the island of Cikobia,   Fiji (at 15°43′S 179°59′W / 15.717°S 179.983°W / -15.717; -179.983 (Cikobia))
16°9′S 180°0′E / 16.150°S 180.000°E / -16.150; 180.000 (Fiji)   Fiji Islands of Vanua Levu, Rabi, and Taveuni
16°59′S 180°0′E / 16.983°S 180.000°E / -16.983; 180.000 (Pacific Ocean) Pacific Ocean Passing just east of the island of Moala,   Fiji (at 18°33′S 179°57′E / 18.550°S 179.950°E / -18.550; 179.950 (Moala))
Passing just west of the island of Totoya,   Fiji (at 19°0′S 179°52′W / 19.000°S 179.867°W / -19.000; -179.867 (Totoya))
Passing just east of the island of Matuku,   Fiji (at 19°10′S 179°47′E / 19.167°S 179.783°E / -19.167; 179.783 (Matuku))
60°0′S 180°0′E / 60.000°S 180.000°E / -60.000; 180.000 (Southern Ocean) Southern Ocean
78°13′S 180°0′E / 78.217°S 180.000°E / -78.217; 180.000 (Antarctica) Antarctica Ross Dependency, claimed by   New Zealand
180° Meridian, Taveuni, Fiji

The meridian also passes between (but not particularly close to):

The only place where roads cross this meridian, and where there are buildings very close to it, is in Fiji.

Software representation problems

Many geographic software libraries or data formats project the world to a rectangle; very often this rectangle is split exactly at the 180th meridian. This often makes it non-trivial to do simple tasks (like representing an area, or a line) over the 180th meridian. Some examples:

  • The GeoJSON specification strongly suggests splitting geometries so that neither of their parts cross the antimeridian. [2]
  • In OpenStreetMap, areas (like the boundary of Russia) are split at the 180th meridian.

180TH MERIDIAN INFORMATION

180th ... Meridian ...

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