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ERIC Number: EJ783949
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1341
Which Way Is Jerusalem? Which Way Is Mecca? The Direction-Facing Problem in Religion and Geography
Levina, Daniel Z.
Journal of Geography, v101 n1 p27-37 Jan 2002
Determining the direction in which to face another location on the globe is a problem with significant social and religious meaning, and one with a rich and interesting history in the Western world. Yet a fully satisfying geographic solution to this problem is hindered by our intuitive perception of the world as a flat surface-where a "straight" path (1) is the shortest distance, and (2) maintains a constant angle. On a curved surface, however, only one of these two properties can be satisfied: the first, by a great circle; the second, by a rhumb line. These two solutions are analyzed, compared, and applied to the direction-facing problem.
National Council for Geographic Education. Jacksonville State University, 206A Martin Hall, Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602. Tel: 256-782-5293; Fax: 256-782-5336; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A