Brief Description Of The Absolute And Relative Coordinates

Brief Description Of The Absolute And Relative Coordinates

Coordinate systems are very important for different kinds of areas of engineering and they are generally used for positioning in different areas. The two methods of positioning are very important in coordinate systems. They are absolute and relative coordinates or positionings. Here you can find a brief description of the absolute and relative coordinates used commonly. 

What Are The Absolute Coordinates? 

Absolute coordinate system(Image Source:

Absolute positioning is one of the most used methods in coordinate systems. In absolute coordinates, there is a point which is called the origin. And origin’s coordinates are (0, 0, 0) in each directions(X, Y and Z). If you specify a point on that absolute coodinate system, the absolute coordinates show the distance between the point and the X, Y, and Z rays. This distance is perpendicular distance. These distances are the coordinates of the point. 

For example, if you have a point on an absolute coordinate system, say it is (4, 5, 6). The perpendicular distance of this point to the X-axis is 4 units. And to the Y-axis is 5 units. And this is 6 for the Z-axis. This is very simple like that. 

Relative Coordinates

Relative coordinates(Image Source:

For different situations, the use of relative coordinates can be useful. Relative coordinates of a point are defined according to the previous coordinates which must be known. If the given relative coordinates are added to the previous coordinates, the exact location will be found. 

For example, you want to define the location of a point, according to another point. The first point’s coordinates are (4, 5, 6). And if you define the second point’s coordinates (2, 3, 4) with respect to the first point you can find the absolute location of the second point’s as (6, 8, 10) which is the addition of the given coordinates. 

Relative coordinates are useful if the origin point is not known. 


The general logic of the relative and absolute coordinates is like that. 

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