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What is Meant by Coordinate Grid? – A Complete Guide

Mar 24, 2023

A plane is a flat surface. Just like a floor or a wall, it is a smooth and flat surface. However, a grid is something different. Have you wondered how metropolitan cities are laid out with a consistent, easy-to-follow grid plan? It is an ultimate example of a coordinate plane.

Cities with well-planned street layouts that leave room for roadways include Barcelona, New York, Ontario, Savannah, and many others. It is merely an illustration of how to coordinate grids operate. Continue reading the sections below to learn more about a coordinate grid and what a coordinate plane is. However, one must first understand what a coordinate is. 

What is a Coordinate?

Even though this might sound a bit complicated, a coordinate is nothing but a point on a graph. 

A graph is a plane covered in grids. The coordinates of these points, which are located using these grids, are used to find specific points on the graph. 

A coordinate generally represents a point in the graph where the X-axis and the Y-axis coincide. By knowing the location of specific coordinates in a chart, it is easy to predict the outcome of the resulting grid.


What Does a Grid Look Like?

A grid is a two-dimensional surface that has an x-axis and a y-axis. These axes are horizontal and vertical, respectively. 

Concerning these axes, a grade is formed when the lines of the x-axis and the y-axis intersect with each other. The point where these lines cross each other is called the origin.

It is important to understand that every line of the x-axis is perpendicular to the lines of the y-axis. Thus, making a section of squares in a coordinate plane.

The History of Coordinate Planes

To understand coordinated planes in a better way, one should know about their history.

The coordinate plane is a system that was invented during the 17th century by a French mathematician and philosopher. His name was René Descartes. 


The French mathematician invented the grid system due to one of the incidents in his life. It is known that he was lying in his bed and noticed the movement of a fly on his ceiling. It occurred to him if he could describe and locate every direction made by that fly.

The next thing that he does is make one corner of the ceiling as an origin and imagine horizontal and vertical lines forming perpendicular blocks along the ceiling forming a grid network. This imagination invented the fundamental basics of a coordinate plane.

Definition of a Coordinate Grid

Who knew a simple observation by a mathematician would inspire him to create a great mathematical tool. His need to locate the movement of that fly led to the invention and application of a coordinate grid.

In simple words, a coordinate grid is a uniform arrangement where the horizontal lines of the x-axis intersect with the vertical lines of the y-axis, forming uniform blocks. These are blocks that resemble a fishing net. These blocks come together to create the coordinate grid.

What do you Understand About the Coordinate Grid?

A coordinate grid is referred to as a rectangular plane where the intersection of horizontal and vertical lines forms a grid network. The point of meeting of the horizontal and vertical lines from an angle perpendicular to each other. 

The network of each horizontal and vertical line forms a grid. This grid acts as a map to indicate precise directions from one coordinate point to another.

A grid is divided into four quadrants to ease the effort needed to locate a coordinate point in a grid. Each quadrant helps one to find a particular point on the coordinate plane.

The four quadrants of a coordinate plane help address different coordinates using a graphical equation. Each coordinate point refers to a pair of both x and y-coordinates.

How to Locate a Point in a Coordinate Grid?

It is important to know both the X-axis and the Y-axis coordinates to locate a point in a coordinate grid. In case either of the two is missing, it is impossible to identify a point in the coordinate grid.

Think of it as the address of a building. If a person wants to locate the exact location of a building, then they must have the street name and the lane number. Having this information will make it easy to identify that particular building.

Now, to locate a point in the coordinate plane, one should be familiar with the coordinate grids. It is important to know that the coordinate of the X-axis is written first, and the coordinate of the Y-axis is written after that. For example – (x,y)

In addition, one should be aware of which line is vertical and which is horizontal (x-axis) (y-axis). To find the coordinate of the y-axis along the vertical grid, first find the coordinate of the x-axis along with the horizontal grids. By using this method, it is possible to find the coordinate point where the two axes intersect. It is a specific coordinate grid point. 

What is a Quadrant?

It is clear that each horizontal and vertical line perpendicularly intersects each other. These lines altogether form a great network that is divided into four main areas. These areas are known as quadrants in a coordinate grid.

The X-axis and the Y-axis divide the coordinate plane into four quadrants, and Roman numerals indicate every quadrant. Each quadrant is numbered in a counterclockwise direction.

So, the first quadrant forms the top right corner. The other quadrants come in a counterclockwise motion along the coordinate plane. It means the top left quadrant is the second one and has negative X-axis values.

How Many Quadrants are There in a Coordinate Grid?

Every coordinate grid has four quadrants. Each quadrant deals with different values of the X-axis and the value axis.

Quadrant I – Top right corner of the coordinate grid with positive x value and positive y value

Quadrant II – Top left of the coordinate grid with negative x value and positive y value

Quadrant III – Bottom left corner of the coordinate grid with negative x value and negative y value

Quadrant IV – Bottom right corner of the coordinate grid with positive x value and negative y value

What is a Scale in the Coordinate Plane?

Both the X-axis and the Y-axis are divided into equal units with the help of numbers that form a number line. These numbers have a range that goes both positive and negative along with quadrants of the coordinate grid.

It means each axis (x-axis and y-axis) can start from -20 to +20. This way, each axis will cover one quadrant of the coordinate plane. A scale represents the range of the number line of each axis. The scale of an axis allows a better display of information both in the graph and in the calculations.

What do you Understand by Intercepting in a Coordinate Grid?

From the above information, it is clear that a coordinate point is made up of an x-axis value and a y-axis value. For example- (3,6)

Where 3 is the value on the x-axis, and 6 is the value on the y-axis. It is also clear that because both the values are positive, they lie somewhere in quadrant I.

Nevertheless, if one of the coordinates is 0, then the resulting line that either crosses the x-axis or the y-axis is called an intercept. So, if the coordinates of a graph are (0,3), then a line will be drawn only on the y-axis. It will be called a y-intercept. Likewise, if the coordinates are (5,0), then a line will be drawn on the x-axis. This line will be called an x-intercept.

What is a Coordinate Grid Graph?

A coordinate grid graph is a well-laid network of the X-axis and the Y-axis. This graph is needed to learn coordinate points and different quadrants of a coordinate plane.

It is easy to plot coordinate points along the X-axis and the Y-axis using a coordinate grid. However, one should keep in mind the positive and the negative values of each coordinate.

One can easily read a map or locate any point in a graph with the above information on a coordinate grid. Not just this, knowing the features of a coordinate grid will help a person to locate horizontal or vertical movements concerning a mathematical equation.

Summary of the Coordinate Grid

The above information regarding coordinate grids is a well-elaborated and detailed explanation of coordinate grids. By thoroughly understanding the concept and features of a coordinate plane, one can easily identify and locate number lines.

Apart from this, the above information also specifies the different terms and methods used to locate the coordinates on a coordinate plane. 

Coordinate Grid


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