# Coordinate system

## Coordinate system

In mathematics and its applications, a

cases means real numbers, but, depending on

context, can mean complex numbers or elements of

some other commutative ring. For

complicated spaces, it is often not possible to provide one consistent

coordinate system for the entire space. In this case, a collection of coordinate

systems, called

space. A simple example (which motivates the terminology) is the surface of the

earth.

coordinate

<mathematics> One member of a tuple of

numbers which defines the position of a point in some space. Commonly used

coordinate systems have as many coordinates as their are dimensions in the

space, e.g. a pair for two dimensions. The most common coordinate system is Cartesian coordinates,

probably followed by polar

coordinates.

(1997-07-09)

**coordinate system**is a system for assigning an*n*-tuple of numbers or scalars to each point in an*n*-dimensional space. "Scalars" in manycases means real numbers, but, depending on

context, can mean complex numbers or elements of

some other commutative ring. For

complicated spaces, it is often not possible to provide one consistent

coordinate system for the entire space. In this case, a collection of coordinate

systems, called

**charts**, are put together to form an atlas covering the wholespace. A simple example (which motivates the terminology) is the surface of the

earth.

coordinate

<mathematics> One member of a tuple of

numbers which defines the position of a point in some space. Commonly used

coordinate systems have as many coordinates as their are dimensions in the

space, e.g. a pair for two dimensions. The most common coordinate system is Cartesian coordinates,

probably followed by polar

coordinates.

(1997-07-09)

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