Degree grid of the Earth: Western Hemisphere (countries and continents)

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Degree grid of the Earth: Western Hemisphere (countries and continents)
Degree grid of the Earth: Western Hemisphere (countries and continents)

Our planet is divided into the Western Hemisphere and the Eastern, and this division is rather conditional. What line divides the Earth into two hemispheres? What continents and countries are in the Western Hemisphere? The answers to all these questions can be found in our fascinating article.

Grid of the Earth: Eastern and Western Hemisphere

What is a graticule? This is a network of conditional lines, which is drawn on globes and maps by people for convenience. In particular, these lines are needed by scientists and researchers, travelers and business executives. They are also necessary in order to quickly and accurately determine the location of a particular geographical object on the territory of our planet.

The lines of the degree grid include parallels and meridians, as well as lines of the tropics and polar circles. They are found on almost all geographical maps.

Western hemisphere
Western hemisphere

If the division of the Earth by the equator into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is logical and quite justified, then the Western Hemisphere, as well as the Eastern Hemisphere, were rather conditionally singled out. Howthis happened, we will talk further.

Zero and 180th meridians

It is these two meridians that divide our planet into two hemispheres: Western and Eastern.

Zero (or Greenwich) meridian is the reference point for all geographic longitudes of the planet. It is called Greenwich because it passes through the passage instrument of the observatory of the same name, located near London. The latter was established back in 1675 by the British King Charles II.

Interestingly, until the end of the 19th century, some states had their own prime meridian. Thus, in Russia this role was played by the Pulkovo meridian, and in France by the so-called Paris meridian. Only in 1884, at an international conference by countries, it was decided to establish the Greenwich meridian as the zero one. It passes through the territories of such countries as Great Britain, France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Ghana and Burkina Faso. Tourists often come to the Greenwich Observatory. And each of them must perform one ritual: stand with one foot in the eastern hemisphere, and the other in the western.

Continents of the Western Hemisphere
Continents of the Western Hemisphere

In turn, the 180th meridian is a conditional line that continues the Greenwich meridian on the other side of the Earth. It also serves as the basis for the so-called date line, which, by the way, has a curved trajectory rather than a flat one. It shifts in those places where the meridian passes through the populated areas.

The 180th meridian has another interesting feature. The point is that it can be called a line likeeast and west longitudes. This meridian (like any other on the globe) connects the North Pole of the Earth with the South. At the same time, it crosses the following geographical objects: the Chukchi Peninsula, the Chukchi Sea, the Bering Sea, the chain of the Aleutian Islands, Fiji, as well as the vast expanses of Antarctica.

Countries and continents of the Western Hemisphere

What continents are in the Western Hemisphere? If you look at the map, the answer to this question is quite simple. This is North and South America (entirely), as well as part of Europe and Africa.

In geopolitical articles and discussions, the term western hemisphere is also very common, which is used as a synonym for the word "America" (meaning part of the world, not one of the continents).

Western hemisphere countries
Western hemisphere countries

Countries of this hemisphere have different sizes. There are giant countries among them (USA, Canada, Brazil) and very tiny states (for example, Dominica or the Bahamas). In 2014, 33 countries of the Western Hemisphere held a summit of the newly created Commonwe alth of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC for short). The meeting took place on the island of freedom, in the capital of Cuba - Havana.


The Western Hemisphere is the hemisphere of the Earth, which is located between the Zero and 180th meridians of the planet. The geographical coordinates of all objects located in this hemisphere are commonly called west longitude coordinates.

In the Western Hemisphere is located North and South America (entirely), part of Europe and Africa, the islandGreenland, Chukotka, as well as several island states of Oceania.

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