Location

Pronunciation: /loʊˈkeɪ ʃən/ ?

A location is where an object exists in a space. In metric spaces, a location is usually measured from the origin. In a 1-dimensional space, a location can have only a directed distance from the origin. Think of a number line. See figure 1. The origin is the location marked 0. If a point exists 2 to the right of 0, it is the point marked '2' on the number line. Notice that location in a 1-dimensional metric space is defined by a single number.

Click on the blue point in manipulative 1 and drag it to change the figure.

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Manipulative 1: Number Line. Created with GeoGebra.

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Manipulative 2: Location of a point in a Cartesian plane. Created with GeoGebra.

A location in a 2 dimensional space has two offsets from the origin. Often these offsets are referred to as length and width. They can also be referred to a vertical and horizontal offset. Think of an x-y graph. Click on the blue point in manipulative 2 and drag it to change the figure.

A 2-dimensional graph is called a Cartesian plane. The vertical axis is often called the y-axis. The horizontal axis is often called the x-axis. The location of a point in a 2-dimensional metric space can be described by 2 numbers.

check mark Understanding Check

Write the answer to the question on a piece of paper then click to see the answer.

  1. How many numbers are needed to describe the location of a point in 3-dimensional space? Click for Answer3
  2. How many numbers are needed to describe the location of a point in 12-dimensional space? Click for Answer12

Cite this article as:


Location. 2008-11-02. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/l/location.html.

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Revision History


2008-11-02: Changed manipulatives to GeoGebra (McAdams, David.)
2008-06-07: Corrected spelling (McAdams, David.)
2007-08-18: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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