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Skill 1 of 13
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Coordinate systems

A crucial detail for pointing out a position such as $\vec s=(15,20)\, \mathrm{cm}$ on a map is where to start. And also, which ways to count those $15\,\mathrm{cm}$ out and $20\,\mathrm{cm}$ in. We need a reference!

We can pick a corner and follow the map edges. Let’s fittingly call that corner the origin and the edges axes. All in all, this is our coordinate system, because we now know how to interpret the coordinates.

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References:

  1. Online Etymology Dictionary’ (dictionary), Douglas Harper, www.etymonline.com
  2. Nudansk Ordbog: abscisse’ (dictionary, in Danish), ordbogen.com, www.ordbogen.com/da/search#/pol-current-dada/abscisse (accessed May 8th, 2019)
  3. Nudansk ordbog: ordinat’ (dictionary, in Danish), ordbogen.com, www.ordbogen.com/da/search#/pol-current-dada/ordinat (accessed May 8th, 2019)
  4. Cartesian orthogonal coordinate system’ (encyclopedia), A.B. Ivanov, Encyclopedia of Mathematics, 2011, www.encyclopediaofmath.org/wiki/Cartesian_orthogonal_coordinate_system
  5. René Descartes’ (encyclopedia), Richard A. Watson, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2019, www.britannica.com/biography/Rene-Descartes (accessed May 8th, 2019)
  6. Descartes And His Coordinate System’ (encyclopedia), William Moncrief & Arthur V. Johnson II, Encyclopedia.com, 2002, www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/descartes-and-his-coordinate-system (accessed May 8th, 2019)
  7. Polar Coordinates’ (web page), Duane Q. Nykamp (Professor of Mathematics at University of Minnesota), Math Insight, www.mathinsight.org/polar_coordinates (accessed May 8th, 2019)