What Is a Coordinate Plane? A Step-by-Step Guide

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While in school, students often focus on the core four subjects: History, Language Arts, Science, and Math. But Math is most often considered one of the most boring of the subjects. As What Is a Coordinate Plane is our main topic for today.

However, many aspects of math are quite interesting, like exponents, decay, and coordinate planes. But what is a coordinate plane?

Here is a quick guide to coordinate planes and how to use one. You might be surprised how they might apply to your everyday life.

What Is a Coordinate Plane?

The coordinate plane has another name: the Cartesian Plane. The Cartesian Plane gets its name from Rene Descartes who is widely considered the first modern philosopher who also heavily contributed to algebra and geometry as well as other sciences. 

So the coordinate plane is a way to explain geometry in space. It does this by using a two-dimensional plane manifested by two lines that are perpendicular to each other acting as axes, named the x and y axes.

The x-axis is the horizontal line and the y-axis is the vertical one. The x and y axes intersect at the point of origin.

Graphing Points 

Points on the graph are represented by an ‘ordered pair’ of numbers that are represented by the and  axes. The first number in the ordered pair is the x-coordinate and the second is the y-coordinate. You can place coordinate points on any quadrant of a graph

To graph the ordered pair, you start the found from the point of origin and count horizontally along the x-axis first. Then from that number, you count vertically along the y-axis.

These numbers can be both positive or negative, which allows for points to be anywhere within the four quadrants of the graph. 

Modern Applications of a Coordinate Plane

When graphing coordinate points on a coordinate plane graph, it can be difficult to see what the real-life applications are for this specific math is. However, there are quite a few everyday uses of this particular geometry.

When laying out a space, whether that be your home, workplace, or even to plan for landscaping, to set where things are supposed to be placed in the area, you can manifest it on a coordinate plane in relation to your space.

You even have coordinates work in geolocation. When trying to find a place on Earth, coordinates represent points on the plane based upon latitude and longitude in relation to the equator and the prime meridian.

These are essentially real-life manifestations of the x and axes on a Cartesian plane. 

Learn to Use a Coordinate Plane

You shouldn’t have to learn things that don’t seem applicable to everyday life when it comes to math. However, you shouldn’t have to ask what is a coordinate plane because there are many applications of coordinates.

Math might be boring for some people, but coordinate planes aren’t, so learn how to use one today.

For other interesting articles about how to apply math to everyday life, be sure to browse the rest of our blog. 

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