When browsing the web and documentation I see the abbreviation lon and lng used for the longitude part of geometry.

I was wondering if there is any difference between lng and lon.

closed as primarily opinion-based by neogeomat, whuber Dec 23 '13 at 16:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    no difference because there is no standard global naming convention. – CaptDragon May 3 '12 at 16:46
  • Might switch to use "lon" from using "lng", the latter I used for long time but personally I think lon is better abbr form. – ray80s Dec 23 '13 at 8:45
  • While I understand that this is sort of an answer to OP's Question, it can be improved by providing supporting information on why lon is better than lng. – Devdatta Tengshe Dec 23 '13 at 14:17

I think lng abbreviation is not wrong, it is a personal choice but it may cause a mixup in the words in the GIS World because The Longitude is settled in our language abbreviation of "Long" or "Lon".

You can see in wikipedia its defined as follows:

The Longitude (abbreviation: Long., λ, or lambda) of a point on the Earth's surface is the angle east or west from a reference meridian to another meridian that passes through that point. All meridians are halves of great ellipses (often improperly called great circles), which converge at the north and south poles.

from Acronyms and Abbreviations :

lon - longitude

Abbreviation:   lon
Definition:     longitude - also long , L , long. and LL
Definition Rank:    
Categories:     Technology
Topics by tags: army and military
Unconfirmed Type:   Syllabic Abbreviation

I hope it helps you...

  • 1
    +1 This is a nice example of bringing in authorities and other references to support an answer. – whuber May 3 '12 at 20:31
  • 4
    The problem with abbreviation "Long" is that it is a reserved word in almost all database systems (ex. Oracle, MSAccess etc.) thus the popular variants lon and lng. – Brent Edwards May 4 '12 at 14:11

I'm pretty sure there is no difference, it's just that there are inconsistencies in the way that Longitude is abbreviated. I'm not aware if there are any resources available that are trying to set a standard for abbreviations.


Which abbreviation to use is mainly a matter of preference. Personally, I use "lat" and "lon". Here's why:

Both are 3 letters, which provides a nice symmetry. Both are phonic abbreviations that correspond to what people call them when speaking. "long" is a reserved word in most programming languages and it is harder to textually search. "lng" looks garbled.

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