Early modern period
The early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages of the post-classical era. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the post-classical age, known as the Middle Ages, through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions and is variously demarcated by historians as beginning with the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, with the Renaissance period, with the Age of Discovery, ending around the French Revolution in 1789. Historians in recent decades have argued that from a worldwide standpoint, the most important feature of the early modern period was its globalizing character; the period witnessed the exploration and colonization of the Americas and the rise of sustained contacts between isolated parts of the globe. The historical powers became involved in global trade, as the exchange of goods, animals, food crops, slaves extended to the Old World and the New World; the Columbian Exchange affected the human environment.
New economies and institutions emerged, becoming more sophisticated and globally articulated over the course of the early modern period. This process began in the medieval North Italian city-states Genoa and Milan; the early modern period included the rise of the dominance of the economic theory of mercantilism. The European colonization of the Americas and Africa occurred during the 15th to 19th centuries, spread Christianity around the world; the early modern trends in various regions of the world represented a shift away from medieval modes of organization and economically. Feudalism declined in Europe, while the period included the Protestant Reformation, the disastrous Thirty Years' War, the Commercial Revolution, the European colonization of the Americas, the Golden Age of Piracy. By the 16th century the economy under the Ming dynasty was stimulated by trade with the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, while Japan engaged in the Nanban trade after the arrival of the first European Portuguese during the Azuchi–Momoyama period.
Other notable trends of the early modern period include the development of experimental science, accelerated travel due to improvements in mapping and ship design rapid technological progress, secularized civic politics, the emergence of nation states. Historians date the end of the early modern period when the French Revolution of the 1790s began the "late modern" period. Dates are approximate. Consult particular article for details. Early modern themes Other In Early Modern times, the major nations of East Asia attempted to pursue a course of Isolationism from the outside world but this policy was not always enforced uniformly or successfully. However, by the end of the Early Modern Period, China and Japan were closed and disinterested to Europeans while trading relationships grew in port cities such as Guangzhou and Dejima. Around the beginning of the Ming dynasty, China was leading the world in mathematics as well as science. However, Europe soon caught up to China's scientific and mathematical achievements and surpassed them.
Many scholars have speculated about the reason behind China's lag in advancement. A historian named Colin Ronan claims that though there is no one specific answer, there must be a connection between China's urgency for new discoveries being weaker than Europe's and China's inability to capitalize on its early advantages. Ronan believes that China's Confucian bureaucracy and traditions led to China not having a scientific revolution, which led China to have fewer scientists to break the existing orthodoxies, like Galileo Galilei. Despite inventing gunpowder in the 9th century, it was in Europe that the classic handheld firearms, were invented, with evidence of use around the 1480s. China was using the matchlocks by 1540, after the Portuguese brought their matchlocks to Japan in the early 1500s. China during the Ming Dynasty established a bureau to maintain its calendar; the bureau was necessary because the calendars were linked to celestial phenomena and that needs regular maintenance because twelve lunar months have 344 or 355 days, so occasional leap months have to be added in order to maintain 365 days per year.
In the 16th century the Ming dynasty flourished over maritime trade with the Portuguese and Dutch Empires. The trade brought in a massive amount of silver. Prior to China's global trade, its economy ran on a paper money. However, in the 14th century, China's paper money system suffered a crisis, by the mid-15th century, crashed; the silver imports helped fill the void left by the broken paper money system, which helps explain why the value of silver in China was twice as high as the value of silver in Spain during the end of the 16th century. The Ming dynasty suffered an economic collapse in the seventeenth-century because of heavy inflation of silver, the European trade depression of the 1620s; the economy sunk to the point where all of China's trading partner cut ties with them: Philip IV restricted shipments of exports from Acapulco, the Japanese cut off all trade with Macau, the Dutch severed connections between Gao and Macau. The damage to the economy was compounded by the effects on agriculture of the incipient Little Ice Age, natural calamities, crop failure and sudden epidemics.
The ensuing breakdown of authority and people's livelihoods allowed rebel leaders, such as Li Zicheng, to challenge Ming authority. The Ming dynasty fell around 1644 to the Qing dynasty, the last ruling dynasty of Chi
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, the rotation of the Earth. Tide tables can be used for any given locale to find the predicted times and amplitude; the predictions are influenced by many factors including the alignment of the Sun and Moon, the phase and amplitude of the tide, the amphidromic systems of the oceans, the shape of the coastline and near-shore bathymetry. They are however only predictions, the actual time and height of the tide is affected by wind and atmospheric pressure. Many shorelines experience low tides each day. Other locations have a diurnal tide -- one low tide each day. A "mixed tide" – two uneven magnitude tides a day – is a third regular category. Tides vary on timescales ranging from hours to years due to a number of factors, which determine the lunitidal interval. To make accurate records, tide gauges at fixed stations measure water level over time. Gauges ignore; these data are compared to the reference level called mean sea level.
While tides are the largest source of short-term sea-level fluctuations, sea levels are subject to forces such as wind and barometric pressure changes, resulting in storm surges in shallow seas and near coasts. Tidal phenomena are not limited to the oceans, but can occur in other systems whenever a gravitational field that varies in time and space is present. For example, the shape of the solid part of the Earth is affected by Earth tide, though this is not as seen as the water tidal movements. Tide changes proceed via the following stages: Sea level rises over several hours, covering the intertidal zone; the water rises to its highest level. Sea level falls over several hours; the water stops reaching low tide. Oscillating currents produced by tides are known as tidal streams; the moment that the tidal current ceases is called slack tide. The tide reverses direction and is said to be turning. Slack water occurs near high water and low water, but there are locations where the moments of slack tide differ from those of high and low water.
Tides are semi-diurnal, or diurnal. The two high waters on a given day are not the same height; the two low waters each day are the higher low water and the lower low water. The daily inequality is not consistent and is small when the Moon is over the Equator. From the highest level to the lowest: Highest astronomical tide – The highest tide which can be predicted to occur. Note that meteorological conditions may add extra height to the HAT. Mean high water springs – The average of the two high tides on the days of spring tides. Mean high water neaps – The average of the two high tides on the days of neap tides. Mean sea level – This is the average sea level; the MSL is constant for any location over a long period. Mean low water neaps – The average of the two low tides on the days of neap tides. Mean low water springs – The average of the two low tides on the days of spring tides. Lowest astronomical tide and Chart Datum – The lowest tide which can be predicted to occur. Modern charts use this as the chart datum.
Note that under certain meteorological conditions the water may fall lower than this meaning that there is less water than shown on charts. Tidal constituents are the net result of multiple influences impacting tidal changes over certain periods of time. Primary constituents include the Earth's rotation, the position of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth, the Moon's altitude above the Earth's Equator, bathymetry. Variations with periods of less than half a day are called harmonic constituents. Conversely, cycles of days, months, or years are referred to as long period constituents. Tidal forces affect the entire earth. In contrast, the atmosphere is much more fluid and compressible so its surface moves by kilometers, in the sense of the contour level of a particular low pressure in the outer atmosphere. In most locations, the largest constituent is the "principal lunar semi-diurnal" known as the M2 tidal constituent, its period is about 12 hours and 25.2 minutes half a tidal lunar day, the average time separating one lunar zenith from the next, thus is the time required for the Earth to rotate once relative to the Moon.
Simple tide clocks track this constituent. The lunar day is longer than the Earth day because the Moon orbits in the same direction the Earth spins; this is analogous to the minute hand on a watch crossing the hour hand at 12:00 and again at about 1:05½. The Moon orbits the Earth in the same direction as the Earth rotates on its axis, so it takes more than a day—about 24 hours and 50 minutes—for the Moon to return to the same location in the sky. During this time, it has passed overhead once and underfoot once, so in many places the period of strongest tidal forcing is the above-mentioned, about 12 hours and 25 minutes; the moment of highest tide is not when the Moon is nearest to zenith or nadir, but the period of the forcing still determines the time between high tides. Because the gravitational field created by the Moon weakens
The Vistula is the longest and largest river in Poland and the 9th longest river in Europe, at 1,047 kilometres in length. The drainage basin area of the Vistula is 193,960 km2; the remainder is in Belarus and Slovakia. The Vistula rises at Barania Góra in the south of Poland, 1,220 meters above sea level in the Silesian Beskids, where it begins with the White Little Vistula and the Black Little Vistula, it flows over the biggest cities including Kraków, Warsaw, Płock, Włocławek, Toruń, Bydgoszcz, Świecie, Grudziądz, Tczew and Gdańsk. It empties into the Vistula Lagoon or directly into the Gdańsk Bay of the Baltic Sea with a delta and several branches; the name was first recorded by Pliny in AD 77 in his Natural History. Mela names the river Vistula, Pliny uses Vistla; the root of the name Vistula is Indo-European *u̯eis-'to ooze, flow slowly' and is found in many European rivernames. The diminutive endings -ila, -ula, were used in many Indo-European languages, including Latin. In writing about the Vistula River and its peoples, Ptolemy uses the Greek spelling Ouistoula.
Other ancient sources spell it Istula. Ammianus Marcellinus refers to the Bisula. Jordanes uses Viscla. 12th-century Polish chronicler Wincenty Kadłubek Latinised the rivername as Vandalus, a form influenced by Lithuanian vanduõ'water', while Jan Długosz in his Annales seu cronicae incliti regni Poloniae called the Vistula'white waters' referring to the White Little Vistula: "a nationibus orientalibus Polonis vicinis, ob aquae candorem Alba aqua... nominatur." Over the course of history the river possessed several names in different languages such as Low German: Wießel, Dutch: Wijsel, Yiddish: ווייסל Yiddish pronunciation: and Russian: Висла. The Vistula river is formed in the southern Silesian Voivodeship of Poland from two sources, the Czarna Wisełka at an altitude of 1,107 m and the Biała Wisełka at an altitude of 1,080 m on the western slope of Barania Góra in the Silesian Beskids; the Vistula can be divided into three parts: upper, from its sources to Sandomierz. The Vistula river basin covers 194,424 square kilometres.
In addition, the majority of its river basin is 100 to 200 m above sea level. The highest point of the river basin is at 2,655 metres. One of the features of the river basin of the Vistula is its asymmetry—in great measure resulting from the tilting direction of the Central European Lowland toward the northwest, the direction of the flow of glacial waters, considerable predisposition of its older base; the asymmetry of the river basin is 73–27%. The most recent glaciation of the Pleistocene epoch, which ended around 10,000 BC, is called the Vistulian glaciation or Weichselian glaciation in regard to north-central Europe; the river forms. The delta starts around Biała Góra near Sztum, about 50 km from the mouth, where the river Nogat splits off; the Nogat starts separately as a river named Alte Nogat south of Marienwerder, but further north it picks up water from a crosslink with the Vistula, becomes a distributary of the Vistula, flowing away northeast into the Vistula Lagoon with a small delta.
The Nogat formed part of the border between interwar Poland. The other channel of the Vistula below this point is sometimes called the Leniwka. Various causes have caused many severe floods of the Vistula down the centuries. Land in the area was sometimes depopulated by severe flooding, had to be resettled. See for a reconstruction map of the delta area as it was around year 1300: note much more water in the area, the west end of the Vistula Lagoon was bigger, nearly continuous with the Drausen See; as with some aggrading rivers, the lower Vistula has been subject to channel changing. Near the sea, the Vistula was diverted sideways by coastal sand as a result of longshore drift and split into an east-flowing branch and a west-flowing branch; until the 14th century, the Elbing Vistula was the bigger. 1242: The Stara Wisła cut an outlet to the sea through the barrier near Mikoszewo where the Vistula Cut is now. 1371: The Danzig Vistula became bigger than the Elbing Vistula. 1540 and 1543: Huge floods depopulated the delta area, afterwards the land was resettled by Mennonite Germans, economic development followed.
1553: By a plan made by Da
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
The Weser is a river in Northwestern Germany. Formed at Hannoversch Münden by the confluence of the rivers Fulda and Werra, it flows through Lower Saxony reaching the Hanseatic city of Bremen, before emptying 50 km further north at Bremerhaven into the North Sea. On the opposite bank is the town of Nordenham at the foot of the Butjadingen Peninsula; the Weser has an overall length of 452 km. Together with its Werra tributary, which originates in Thuringia, its length is 744 km. Linguistically, the names of both rivers and Werra, go back to the same source, the differentiation being caused by the old linguistic border between Upper and Lower German, which touched the region of Hannoversch Münden; the name Weser parallels the names of other rivers, such as the Wear in England and the Vistula in Poland, all of which are derived from the root *weis- "to flow", which gave Old English/Old Frisian wāse "mud, ooze", Old Norse veisa "slime, stagnant pool", Dutch waas "haze. The Weser River lies within German national territory, making it the longest such river.
The upper part of its course leads through a hilly region called the Weserbergland. It extends from the confluence of the Fulda and the Werra to the Porta Westfalica, where it runs through a gorge between two mountain chains, the Wiehengebirge in the west and the Weserbergland in the east. Between Minden and the North Sea, humans have canalised the river, permitting ships up to 1,200 tons to navigate it. Eight hydroelectric dams stand along its length, it is linked to the Dortmund-Ems Canal via the Coastal Canal, another canal links it at Bremerhaven to the Elbe River. A large reservoir on the Eder River, the main tributary of the Fulda, is used to regulate water levels on the Weser so as to ensure adequate depth for shipping throughout the year; the dam, built in 1914, was bombed and damaged by British aircraft in May 1943, causing massive destruction and about 70 deaths downstream, but was rebuilt within four months. As of 2013, the Edersee Reservoir, a major summer resort area, provides substantial hydroelectricity.
The Weser enters the North Sea in the southernmost part of the German Bight. In the North Sea, it splits into two arms representing the ancient riverbed at the end of the last ice age; these sea arms are called Neue Weser. They represent the major waterways for ships heading for the harbors of Bremerhaven and Bremen; the Alte Weser lighthouse marks the northernmost point of the Weser. This lighthouse replaced the historic and famous Roter Sand lighthouse in 1964; the largest tributary of the Weser is the Aller. The tributaries of the Weser and the Werra are: Modes of the list: Listed upstream, but sides seen with the flow Distances from the hydrographical limit towards the sea "II", "III"and "IV" mark distances of secondary/tertiary tributaries from the confluence with the Weser etc. After the names and basin sizes are given. Lengths with longer affluents are given behind the slash, lengths including an upper course with another name with "or" List: km 19, right: Geeste, 42.5 km, 338 km² km 33, right: Lune, 43 km, 383 km² km 35.9, right: Drepte, 37.6 km, 101 km² km 52.8, left: Hunte, 189 km, 2.785 km² II: km 125.7: Lake Dümmer km 67.6, right: Lesum, 9.9 or 131.5, 2,188 km² II: km 9.9, right Hamme, 48.5 km, 549 km² ↑ main stream: Wümme, 118 / 120, 1,585 km² km 72.5, left: Ochtum, 25.6 or 45 km, 917 km² II: km 25.6: left Hache, 33 km, 118 km² km 125.6, right: Aller, 260 km, 15,744 km² II: km 63.6, left: Leine, 278 km, 5,617 km², stronger than river Aller above III: km 112.7, right: Innerste, 99.7 km, 1,264 km² III: km 192.8, right: Rhume, 44 km, 1,193 km², stronger than river Leine above IV: km 15.6, right: Oder, 56 km, 385 km², headwater of the strongest waterway of Aller system II: km 97.3, right: Örtze, 62 / 70 km, 760 km² II: km 140.7, left: Oker, 218 km, 1822 km², stronger than river Aller above km 184.6, right: Steinhuder Meerbach ↑ km II: 29 lake Steinhuder Meer km 188.7, left: Große Aue, 84.5 km, 1,522 km² km 261.3, left: Werre, 71.9 km, 1485 km² II: km 12.7, left: Else, 34.6 km, 416 km², branch of the Hase, an affluent of Ems km 287.7, left: Exter, 26.1 km, 109 km² km 323.3, left: Emmer, 61.8 km, 535 km² km 387.5, left: Nethe, 50.4 km, 460 km² km 406.5, left: Diemel, 110.5 km, 1,762 km² km 451.5, left: Fulda, 220.4 km, 6.947 km²II: km 45.3, left: Eder, 176.1 km, 3,361 km², headwater of the strongest waterway of Weser system III: km 17.1, left: Schwalm, 97.1 km, 1.299 km² ↑ III: km 49.4–70.5: Edersee reservoir II: 120.1, right: Haune, 66.5 km, 500 km²↑ main stream above km 451.5: Werra, 299.6 km, 5.497 km² km 566.5, righht: Hörsel, 55.2 or 64.3, 784 km² km 9.8, right: Nesse, 54.5 km, 426 km² km 513.1, left: Ulster, 57.2 km, 421 km² km 604.4, right: Schleuse, 34.2 km, 283 km² Towns along the Weser, from the confluence of Werra and Fulda to the mouth, include: Hann.
Münden, Beverungen, Höxter, Bodenwerder, Hessisch Oldendorf, Vlotho, Bad Oeynhausen, Porta Westfalica, Petershagen, Achim, Brake, Bremerhaven. Dieter Berger: Geographische Namen in Deutschland. Duden-Verlag, Mannheim 1999. Hans Krahe: Sprache und Vorzeit. Quelle & Meyer, Heidelberg 1954. Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Francke, Bern 1959. Karsten Meinke: Die Entwicklung der Weser im Nordwestdeutschen Flachland während des jüngeren Pleistozäns. Diss. Göttingen 1992. Mit Bodenprofi
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
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history, sometimes involving neighbouring countries; the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as culture and education. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population. 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in the bilingual city of Brussels. Not including Brussels, there are five modern Flemish provinces. In medieval contexts, the original "County of Flanders" stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there; this county still corresponds with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands.
Although this original meaning is still relevant, during the 19th and 20th centuries it became commonplace to use the term "Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the "Flemish Community" and the "Flemish Region"; these entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not. Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Antwerp made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export; as a consequence, a sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, due to massive national investments in port infrastructures, Flanders' economy modernised and today Flanders and Brussels are more wealthy than Wallonia and in general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world. Geographically, Flanders is flat, has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of 500 people per square kilometer, it touches France to the west near the coast, borders the Netherlands to the north and east, Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands; the term "Flanders" has several main modern meanings: The "Flemish community" or "Flemish nation", i.e. the social and linguistic, scientific and educational and political community of the Flemings.
It comprises 6.5 million Belgians. The political subdivisions of Belgium: the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community; the first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the operative body "Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish Parliament"; the two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders. An ancien régime territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic; until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands. One of the Flemish regions which are now part of France, in the Nord department; this is referred to as French Flanders, can be divided into two smaller regions: Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century.
The city of Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The Flemish region which became part of the Dutch Republic, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland; the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it became commonplace to refer to the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium as "Flanders"; the linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early'60's, from Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now, Flanders extends over the northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding to t