I cannot find anywhere why BLH (where B is geographical latitude, L geographical longitude and H is elliposidal height) is called BLH.

The origin of the letter H is clear, but what about B and L?

Many sources over internet, like this one, use these same symbols to represent geo points.

  • 1
    It is required to clarify: BLH (where: B is geodetic latitude, L is geodesic longitude and H is height above the ellipsoid), and geographic latitude is φ, geographic longitude is λ, and for that thanks to the Greeks: -) ... Jul 11, 2019 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


This should be abbreviations for the German words Breite, Länge, Höhe, which directly translate to latitude, longitude, height.

  • Thank you!!! Do you know why is German words used? may be you know any reference to any source? Jul 9, 2019 at 12:58
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    As far as I know German cartographers were amongst the first to define ellipsoids and conduct extensive land surveys. But I can't give you any sources besides this (only in German available) Wiki-link. Maybe start your research around the term "triangulation".
    – Erik
    Jul 9, 2019 at 13:11

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