I am wondering what area is covered by a dataset which is one arc second wide.
closed as unclear what you're asking by PolyGeo♦ Jan 31 '17 at 18:27
Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
At sea level at the equator:
One degree of longitude is about 111km
One minute of longitude is one sixtieth of that: about 1.85km
One second of longitude is one sixtieth of that amount: about 31 meters or 100 feet.
Arc-seconds of latitude remain nearly constant, while arc-seconds of longitude decrease in a trigonometric cosine-based fashion as one moves toward the earth's poles.
Arc seconds aren't really a great way to measure distance. Is there no possibility of using a ruler tool in your GIS or any kind of distance function?
1 nautical mile is one minute of arc. At equatorial sea level, this is equivalent to 1852m/60 = 30.86666667m (the equatorial arc-second).
As noted above, this distance will become smaller as one moves towards the poles.
At 33.6º latitude South, cos 33º = 0.83292, cos 33.6 * 30.866666667m = 25.709m for arc-second of longitude at this latitude (33.6º, approximately)