Examples of Absolute and Relative Location

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Here are some examples of the same location described as a relative location and an absolute location.

The absolute location of a place doesn’t change such as the address of a place or the latitude and longitude of a place.  

Relative location will change depending on the person describing the location.

More: Absolute and Relative Location

When giving the absolute location of a place, you need only to provide either the coordinates or the address. When giving the relative location of a place, you have to provide information about the location based on the location of another place.

Listed below are some examples that provide both the absolute and relative locations of various places.

(Learn more: Absolute and Relative Location)

General Example of Absolute and Relative Location

Addresses of a place are an example of absolute location.  Someone may live at 123 Main Street.  

That house, when explained as a relative location, may be described as being four houses down from the corner.

United States Capitol

The United States Capitol is located at First St SE in Washington, DC 20004.  The absolute location of the U.S. Capitol in latitude/longitude is 38° 53′ 35″ N, 77° 00′ 32″ W.

 An example of the relative location of the U.S. Capitol is that it is located about 38 miles southwest of Baltimore.

Absolute and Relative Location of Turkey

The absolute location of the country of Turkey is between 36 degrees and 42 degrees north latitude and between 26 degrees and 45 degrees east longitude.  

The relative location of Turkey can be described as being located between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas and East of Greece.

Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela

The absolute location of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela is 9.80°N and 71.56°W.  Lake Marcaibo is located in the northern part of Venezuela, south of the  Gulf of Venezuela.

Location in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. Map: Wikipedia.
Location in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. Map: Wikipedia.


The African country of Nigeria is located between 0 and 15 degrees north latitude and between 0 and 15 degrees east longitude.  Nigeria is located east of Benin, south of Niger, southwest of Chad, and west of Cameroon.

(You might also be interested in reading about: Relative Direction Versus Compass Direction)

Watch: Absolute Versus Relative Location



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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.