Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It consists of three elements: the Senate and the House of Representatives; the combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modelled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system; the upper house, the Senate, consists of 76 members: twelve for each state, two each for the territories, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Senators are elected using the single transferable vote proportional representation system and as a result, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power; the governing party or coalition has not held a majority in the Senate since 1981 and needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed. The lower house, the House of Representatives consists of 150 members, each elected using full-preference instant-runoff voting from single-member constituencies known as electoral divisions.
This tends to lead to the chamber being dominated by two major political groups, the centre-right Coalition and the centre-left Labor Party. The government of the day must achieve the confidence of this House in order to gain and remain in power. Although elections can be called early, every three years the full House of Representatives and half of the Senate is dissolved and goes up for reelection. A deadlock-breaking mechanism known as a double dissolution can be used to dissolve the full Senate as well as the House in the event that the Upper House twice refuses to pass a piece of legislation passed by the Lower House; the two Houses meet in separate chambers of Parliament House on Capital Hill in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The Commonwealth of Australia came into being on 1 January 1901 with the federation of the six Australian colonies; the inaugural election took place on 29 and 30 March and the first Australian Parliament was opened on 9 May 1901 in Melbourne by Prince George, Duke of Cornwall and York King George V.
The only building in Melbourne, large enough to accommodate the 14,000 guests was the western annexe of the Royal Exhibition Building. After the official opening, from 1901 to 1927 the Parliament met in Parliament House, which it borrowed from the Parliament of Victoria, it had always been intended. This was a compromise at Federation due to the rivalry between the two largest Australian cities and Melbourne, which both wished to become the new capital; the site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital city in 1908. A competition was announced on 30 June 1914 to design Parliament House, with prize money of £7,000. However, due to the start of World War I the next month, the competition was cancelled, it was re-announced in August 1916, but again postponed indefinitely on 24 November 1916. In the meantime, John Smith Murdoch, the Commonwealth's Chief Architect, worked on the design as part of his official duties, he had little personal enthusiasm for the project, as he felt it was a waste of money and expenditure on it could not be justified at the time.
He designed the building by default. The construction of Old Parliament House, as it is called today, commenced on 28 August 1923 and was completed in early 1927, it was built by the Commonwealth Department of Works, using tradesmen and materials from all over Australia. The final cost was about £600,000, more than three times the original estimate, it was designed to house the parliament for a maximum of 50 years until a permanent facility could be built, but was so used for more than 60 years. The building was opened on 9 May 1927 by the Duchess of York; the opening ceremonies were both splendid and incongruous, given the sparsely built nature of Canberra of the time and its small population. The building was extensively decorated with British Empire and Australian flags and bunting. Temporary stands were erected bordering the lawns in front of the Parliament and these were filled with crowds. A Wiradjuri elder, Jimmy Clements, was one of only two aboriginal Australians present, having walked for about a week from Brungle Station to be at the event.
Dame Nellie Melba sang the National anthem. The Duke of York unlocked the front doors with a golden key, led the official party into King's Hall where he unveiled the statue of his father, King George V; the Duke opened the first parliamentary session in the new Senate Chamber. In 1978 the Fraser Government decided to proceed with a new building on Capital Hill, the Parliament House Construction Authority was created. A two-stage competition was announced, for which the Authority consulted the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and, together with the National Capital Development Commission, made available to competitors a brief and competition documents; the design competition drew 329 entries from 29 countries. The competition winner was the Philadelphia-based architectural firm of Mitchell/Giurgola, with the on-site wor
Phalangeriformes is a suborder of any of about 70 small- to medium-sized arboreal marsupial species native to Australia, New Guinea, Sulawesi. The suborder includes animals known as possums and cuscus; the common name "possum" for various Phalangeriformes species derives from the creatures' resemblance to the opossums of the Americas. However, although opossums are marsupials, Australasian possums are more related to other Australasian marsupials such as kangaroos. Phalangeriformes are quadrupedal diprotodont marsupials with long tails; the smallest species, indeed the smallest diprotodont marsupial, is the Tasmanian pygmy possum, with an adult head-body length of 70 mm and a weight of 10 g. The largest are the two species of bear cuscus. Phalangeriformes species are nocturnal and at least arboreal, they inhabit most vegetated habitats, several species have adjusted well to urban settings. Diets range from generalist herbivores or omnivores to specialist browsers of eucalyptus and nectar-feeders.
About two-thirds of Australian marsupials belong to the order Diprotodontia, split into three suborders: the Vombatiformes. Note: this classification is based on Ruedas & Morales 2005. Suborder Phalangeriformes: possums and allies Superfamily Phalangeroidea Family †Ektopodontidae: Genus †Ektopodon †Ektopodon serratus †Ektopodon stirtoni †Ektopodon ulta Family Burramyidae: Genus Burramys Mountain pygmy possum, B. parvus Genus Cercartetus Long-tailed pygmy possum, C. caudatus Southwestern pygmy possum, C. concinnus Tasmanian pygmy possum, C. lepidus Eastern pygmy possum, C. nanus Family Phalangeridae: brushtail possums and cuscuses Subfamily Ailuropinae Genus Ailurops Talaud bear cuscus, A. melanotis Sulawesi bear cuscus, A. ursinus Genus Strigocuscus Sulawesi dwarf cuscus, S. celebensis Banggai cuscus, S. pelegensis Subfamily Phalangerinae Tribe Phalangerini Genus Phalanger Gebe cuscus, P. alexandrae Mountain cuscus, P. carmelitae Ground cuscus, P. gymnotis Eastern common cuscus, P. intercastellanus Woodlark cuscus, P. lullulae Blue-eyed cuscus, P. matabiru Telefomin cuscus, P. matanim Southern common cuscus, P. mimicus Northern common cuscus, P. orientalis Ornate cuscus, P. ornatus Rothschild's cuscus, P. rothschildi Silky cuscus, P. sericeus Stein's cuscus, P. vestitus Genus Spilocuscus Admiralty Island cuscus, S. kraemeri Common spotted cuscus, S. maculatus Waigeou cuscus, S. papuensis Black-spotted cuscus, S. rufoniger Blue-eyed spotted cuscus, S. wilsoni Tribe Trichosurini Genus Trichosurus Northern brushtail possum, T. arnhemensis Short-eared possum, T. caninus Mountain brushtail possum, T. cunninghami Coppery brushtail possum, T. johnstonii Common brushtail possum, T. vulpecula Genus Wyulda Scaly-tailed possum, W. squamicaudata Superfamily Petauroidea Family Pseudocheiridae: Subfamily Hemibelideinae Genus Hemibelideus Lemur-like ringtail possum, H. lemuroides Genus Petauroides Greater glider, P. volans Subfamily Pseudocheirinae Genus Petropseudes Rock-haunting ringtail possum, P. dahli Genus Pseudocheirus Common ringtail possum, P. peregrinus Genus Pseudochirulus Lowland ringtail possum, P. canescens Weyland ringtail possum, P. caroli Cinereus ringtail possum, P. cinereus Painted ringtail possum, P. forbesi Herbert River ringtail possum, P. herbertensis Masked ringtail possum, P. larvatus Pygmy ringtail possum, P. mayeri Vogelkop ringtail possum, P. schlegeli Subfamily Pseudochiropinae Genus Pseudochirops D'Albertis' ringtail possum, Pseudochirops albertisii Green ringtail possum, Pseudochirops archeri Plush-coated ringtail possum, Pseudochirops corinnae Reclusive ringtail possum, Pseudochirops coronatus Coppery ringtail possum, Pseudochirops cupreus Family Petauridae: Genus Dactylopsila Great-tailed triok, D. megalura Long-fingered triok, D. palpator Tate's triok, D. tatei Striped possum, D. trivirgata Genus Gymnobelideus Leadbeater's possum, G. leadbeateri Genus Petaurus Northern glider, P. abidi Yellow-bellied glider, P. australis Biak glider, P. biacensis Sugar glider, P. breviceps Mahogany glider, P. gracilis Squirrel glider, P. norfolcensis Family Tarsipedidae: Genus Tarsipes Honey possum or noolbenger, T. rostratus Family Acrobatidae: Genus Acrobates Feathertail glider, A. pygmaeus Genus Distoechurus Feather-tailed possum, D. pennatus The common brushtail possum was introduced to New Zealand by European settlers in an attempt to establish a fur industry.
There are no native predators of the possum in New Zealand, so its numbers in New Zealand have risen to the point where it is considered a serious pest. Numerous attempts to eradicate them have been made because of the damage they do to native trees and wildlife, as well as acting as a carrier of bovine tuberculosis. By 2009, these measures had reduced the possum numbers to less than half of the 1980s levels – from around 70 million to around 30 million animals. Fauna of Australia Opossum - distantly related marsupial of the Americas Possums and Gliders — Australia Zoo Urban Possums — ABC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Ruedas, L. A.. C.. "Evolutionary relationships a
Board track racing
Board track racing was a type of motorsport popular in the United States during the 1910s and 1920s. Competition was conducted on oval race courses with surfaces composed of wooden planks; this type of track was first used for motorcycle competition, wherein they were called motordromes, before being adapted for use by various different types of racing cars. The majority of the American national championship races were contested at such venues during the 1920s. Board tracks proliferated in part because they were inexpensive to construct, but they lacked durability and required a great deal of maintenance to remain usable. Many of the tracks survived for as little as three years before being abandoned. With the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, board track racing disappeared rapidly. However, several of its most notable aspects have continued to influence American motorsports up to the present day, including: A technical emphasis on raw speed produced by the steep banking; the first board track for motor racing was the circular Los Angeles Motordrome, built in 1910 in the area that would become the city's Playa del Rey district.
Based on the same technology as European velodromes used for bicycle racing, this track and others like it were constructed with 2-inch x 4-inch boards with turns banked at up to 45 degrees. In some cases, such as the track at Culver City, banking was 50 degrees or more. Longer tracks were built – some up to 2 miles long by 1915 - and lap speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour became commonplace. Interest in motorsport was exploding during this period and by 1929, at least 24 board tracks had been built around the country, although by 1931, 20 of the 24 had been shut-down or abandoned, from 1932 on there were no more championship-level races run on boards; the tracks were inexpensive to construct compared to more permanent facilities – the total facility cost of the 2-mile Tacoma Speedway was just $100,000 in 1915, compared to the $700,000 spent in 1909 just to pave the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Racing on these tracks drew large crowds of paying spectators. In 1915, a crowd of 80,000 was reported in Chicago, three weeks after only 60,000 had attended the Indianapolis 500.
Small and isolated Tacoma had turned out 35,000 to see a race the year before. To attract both competitors and fans, race promoters offered what were considered sensational amounts of prize money - a total purse of $25,000 was not unusual around the time of World War I. After World War I, the Automobile Association of America's Contest Board resumed and re-organized the National Championship system. From the beginning of the 1920 season to the end of 1931, the AAA sanctioned a total of 123 championship racing events on 24 different race tracks, 82 of those races were run on wooden surfaces; the first track in Playa del Rey was banked at a 3:1 pitch, but tracks were built with higher banking and some motorcycle tracks were banked up to 60 degrees. Though the physics of such track designs were intuitively obvious, it was not until construction of the Beverly Hills track in 1919 that builders began to incorporate engineering knowledge, known to railroads for decades. At Beverly Hills, designer Art Pillsbury, who worked on more than half of the championship-caliber board tracks nationwide, first employed the Searle Spiral Easement Curve, the effect on car handling was pronounced.
According to Pillsbury, a engineered track could be driven without steering input from the driver – the car would steer itself due to the track geometry. The effects of these changes were higher cornering speeds and higher G-forces on drivers, but not greater safety. Driver fatalities continued to mount on board tracks into the 1920s, included four Indianapolis 500 winners, three of which occurred at the Altoona track in Tipton and three in the same years in which the driver won at Indianapolis. Winner of the 1919 Indianapolis 500 Howdy Wilcox died in an Altoona race on September 4, 1923, while co-1924 winner Joe Boyer and 1929 winner Ray Keech both suffered fatal accidents at the facility in the same years as their Indianapolis 500 wins – Keech's occurring only seventeen days after, on June 15, 1929. Gaston Chevrolet, winner of the 1920 Indianapolis 500, perished that same autumn, on November 25, 1920, in a Thanksgiving Day race at Beverly Hills; when the cars did not crash, racing on a board track was exceedingly dangerous due to flying wood splinters and debris, due to the primitive tire technology of the era.
In one oral history taken from a driver, he told a tale of wooden shards driven into the faces of drivers and riding mechanics, sudden catastrophic tire failures caused by track conditions. Cars were fitted with anti-splinter devices to protect their radiators. Other protective devices hadn't been invented yet. Drivers were ejected from their cars and would fall tens of feet. Drivers and riding mechanics were driven over by their own or another car. Pete DePaolo wrote in his book Wall Smacker that racing on boards was "a great sensation, tearing around a board speedway dodging holes and flying timber."On the motorcycling motordromes, the situation was very dangerous and the danger was aggravated by the riders' lack of proper safe
Harpephyllum is a genus of trees in the family Anacardiaceae. The sole species is Harpephyllum caffrum, a dioecious evergreen species from South Africa and Mozambique, cultivated; the fruit is edible. Biodiversity Explorer PlantzAfrica Media related to Harpephyllum caffrum at Wikimedia Commons
Royal Exhibition Building
The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building in Melbourne, completed on October 1, 1880, in just 18 months, during the time of the international exhibition movement which presented over 50 exhibitions between 1851 and 1915 in various different places. The building is 150 meters long and is surrounded by four city streets, it is located at 9 Nicholson Street in the Carlton Gardens, flanked by Victoria and Rathdowne Streets, at the north-eastern edge of the central business district. It was built to host the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880–81 and hosted the opening of the first Parliament of Australia in 1901; the building is representative of the pride Victoria had in the 1870s. Throughout the 20th century smaller sections and wings of the building were subject to demolition and fire, it received restoration throughout the 1990s and in 2004 became the first building in Australia to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, being one of the last remaining major 19th-century exhibition buildings in the world.
It is the world's most complete surviving site from the International Exhibition movement 1851–1914. It is the largest item in Museum Victoria's collection. Today, the building hosts various exhibitions and other events and is tied with events at the Melbourne Museum; the Royal Exhibition Building was designed by the architect Joseph Reed of Reed and Barnes architecture, who designed the Melbourne Town Hall, the State Library of Victoria, the Baroque style gardens. The Royal Exhibition Building was the largest design completed by Barnes. According to Reed, the eclectic design was inspired by many sources. Composed of brick, timber and slate, the Exhibition Building is representative of the Byzantine, Romanesque and Italian Renaissance styles; the dome was modeled on the Florence Cathedral, while the main pavilions were influenced by the style of Rundbogenstil and several buildings from Normandy and Paris. The Great Hall is still in beautiful condition with an octagonal drum and dome rising 68 meters and 18.3 meters across.
The dome was rendered stone. It is timber has a double shell; the East and West sides of the building are symmetrical along with south. It was of Beaux Arts architecture inspiration and is representative of a cruciform plan, a floor plan in the shape of a Latin cross in this case. At the crossing of the plan is where the dome rises from, windows bring in sunlight for a bright open space; the interior of the building features a pipe organ, many murals and the words "Victoria Welcomes All Nations". In 1888, electric lighting was installed for the Melbourne exposition; this made the exposition the first in the world, accessible during night time. The interior decorations changed between the two exhibitions of 1880 and 1888. In 1880 the walls were left bare and door joinery colored green. In 1888, walls were painted for the first time. Decoration were decided by the interior designer John Ross Anderson, it was built by David Mitchell, who built Scots' Church and St Patrick's Cathedral. He was the father of the famed soprano Dame Nellie Melba, who sang at the opening of the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra in 1927.
Mitchell was a member of the Council of the Royal Agricultural society and the Builders and Contractor's association. The foundation stone was laid by Victorian governor George Bowen on 19 February 1879 and it was completed in 1880, ready for the Melbourne International Exhibition; the building consisted of a Great Hall of over many temporary annexes. In the 1880s, the building hosted two major International Exhibitions: The Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 and the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in 1888 to celebrate a century of European settlement in Australia; the most significant event to occur in the Exhibition Building was the opening of the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901, following the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January. After the official opening, the Federal Parliament moved to the Victorian State Parliament House, while the Victorian Parliament moved to the Exhibition Building for the next 26 years. On 3 September 1901, the Countess of Hopetoun, wife of the Governor-General, announced the winners of a competition to design the Australian National Flag.
A large flag, 5.5 metres by 11 metres, was unfurled and flown over the dome of the Royal Exhibition Building. In 1902, the building hosted the Australian Federal International Exhibition; the period after this time saw the building used for many purposes. It was a venue for the 1956 Summer Olympics, hosting the basketball, weightlifting and the fencing part of the modern pentathlon competitions; as it decayed, it became known derogatively by locals as The White Elephant in the 1940s and by the 1950s, like many buildings in Melbourne of that time it was earmarked for replacement by office blocks. In 1948, members of the Melbourne City Council put this to the vote and it was narrowly decided not to demolish the building; the wing of the building which once housed Melbourne Aquarium burnt down in 1953. During the 1940s and 1950s, the building remained a venue for regular weekly dances. Over some decades of this period it held boat shows, car shows and other regular home and building industry shows.
It was used during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s for State High School Matriculation and for the Victorian Certificate of Education examinations, among its various other purposes. The western annexe was demolished in the 1970s; the last remaining original annex
Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, thus making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south,New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, South Australia to the west; the area, now known as Victoria is the home of many Aboriginal people groups, including the Boon wurrung, the Bratauolung, the Djadjawurrung, the Gunai/Kurnai, the Gunditjmara, the Taungurong, the Wathaurong, the Wurundjeri, the Yorta Yorta. There were more than 30 Aboriginal languages spoken in the area prior to the European settlement of Australia; the Kulin nation is an alliance of five Aboriginal nations which makes up much of the central part of the state. With Great Britain having claimed the half of the Australian continent, east of the 135th meridian east in 1788, Victoria formed part of the wider colony of New South Wales.
The first European settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, much of what is now Victoria was included in 1836 in the Port Phillip District, an administrative division of New South Wales. Named in honour of Queen Victoria, who signed the division's separation from New South Wales, the colony was established in 1851 and achieved self government in 1855; the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s increased both the population and wealth of the colony, by the time of the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city and leading financial centre in Australasia. Melbourne served as federal capital of Australia until the construction of Canberra in 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne's Parliament House and all principal offices of the federal government being based in Melbourne. Politically, Victoria has 37 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.
The Labor Party led Daniel Andrews as premier has governed Victoria since 2014. The personal representative of the Queen of Australia in the state is the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau. Victoria is divided into 79 municipal districts, including 33 cities, although a number of unincorporated areas still exist, which the state administers directly; the economy of Victoria is diversified, with service sectors including financial and property services, education, retail and manufacturing constitute the majority of employment. Victoria's total gross state product ranks second in Australia, although Victoria ranks fourth in terms of GSP per capita because of its limited mining activity. Culturally, Melbourne hosts a number of museums, art galleries, theatres, is described as the world's sporting capital; the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest stadium in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The ground is considered the "spiritual home" of Australian cricket and Australian rules football, hosts the grand final of the Australian Football League each year, drawing crowds of 100,000.
Nearby Melbourne Park has hosted the Australian Open, one of tennis' four Grand Slam events, annually since 1988. Victoria has eight public universities, with the oldest, the University of Melbourne, dating from 1853. Victoria, like Queensland, was named after Queen Victoria, on the British throne for 14 years when the colony was established in 1851. After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland, under the administration of the colonial government in Sydney; the first British settlement in the area known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins at Sullivan Bay on Port Phillip. It consisted of 402 people, they had been sent from England in HMS Calcutta under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.
In 1826, Colonel Stewart, Captain Samuel Wright, Lieutenant Burchell were sent in HMS Fly and the brigs Dragon and Amity, took a number of convicts and a small force composed of detachments of the 3rd and 93rd regiments. The expedition landed at Settlement Point, on the eastern side of Western Port Bay, the headquarters until the abandonment of Western Port at the insistence of Governor Darling about 12 months afterwards. Victoria's next settlement was on the south west coast of what is now Victoria. Edward Henty settled Portland Bay in 1834. Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman, who set up a base in Indented Head, John Pascoe Fawkner. From settlement, the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales. Shortly after, the site now known as Geelong was surveyed by Assistant Surveyor W. H. Smythe, three weeks after Melbourne, and in 1838, Geelong was declared a town, despite earlier European settlements dating back to 1826
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection; the invention of a geographic coordinate system is credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who composed his now-lost Geography at the Library of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. A century Hipparchus of Nicaea improved on this system by determining latitude from stellar measurements rather than solar altitude and determining longitude by timings of lunar eclipses, rather than dead reckoning. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Isles, off the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead. After their work was translated into Arabic in the 9th century, Al-Khwārizmī's Book of the Description of the Earth corrected Marinus' and Ptolemy's errors regarding the length of the Mediterranean Sea, causing medieval Arabic cartography to use a prime meridian around 10° east of Ptolemy's line. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before 1300. In 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line; the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911.
In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area they are mapping. They choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun; this daily movement can be as much as a metre. Continental movement can be up to 10 m in a century. A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice age, but neighbouring Scotland is rising by only 0.2 cm.
These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. Examples of global datums include World Geodetic System, the default datum used for the Global Positioning System, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, used for estimating continental drift and crustal deformation; the distance to Earth's center can be used both for deep positions and for positions in space. Local datums chosen by a national cartographical organisation include the North American Datum, the European ED50, the British OSGB36. Given a location, the datum provides the latitude ϕ and longitude λ. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude and height systems in use. WGS 84 differs at Greenwich from the one used on published maps OSGB36 by 112 m; the military system ED50, used by NATO, differs from about 120 m to 180 m. The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Coordinates from the mapping system can sometimes be changed into another datum using a simple translation.
For example, to convert from ETRF89 to the Irish Grid add 49 metres to the east, subtract 23.4 metres from the north. More one datum is changed into any other datum using a process called Helmert transformations; this involves converting the spherical coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and applying a seven parameter transformation, converting back. In popular GIS software, data projected in latitude/longitude is represented as a Geographic Coordinate System. For example, data in latitude/longitude if the datum is the North American Datum of 1983 is denoted by'GCS North American 1983'; the "latitude" of a point on Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the Equator and to each other; the North Pole is 90° N. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the Equator, the fun