Difference between Location and Place

Key difference: The location of an area provides a reference to locate a place. Location can absolute or relative. Absolute location provides a definite reference to locate the area, such as latitude and longitude, city or town name, or a street address. Relative location describes the area with respect to its environment and its connection to other places. A place, on the other hand, is generally the use of physical and human characteristics to describe the area.

Both place and location are used in geography to denote an area; however, there are times when you would use one word, as oppose to the other. The location of an area provides a reference to locate a place. Location can absolute or relative. Absolute location provides a definite reference to locate the area, such as latitude and longitude, city or town name, or a street address. Relative location describes the area with respect to its environment and its connection to other places. A place, on the other hand, is generally the use of physical and human characteristics to describe the area.

According to Dictionary.com, a ‘location’ is described as:

  • A place of settlement, activity, or residence: This town is a good location for a young doctor.
  • A place or situation occupied: a house in a fine location.
  • A tract of land of designated situation or limits: a mining location.
  • Movies. A place outside of the studio that is used for filming a movie, scene, etc.
  • Computers. Any position on a register or memory device capable of storing one machine word.
  • The act of locating; state of being located.
  • Civil Law. A letting or renting.

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of ‘place’ states:

  • A particular portion of space, whether of definite or indefinite extent.
  • Space in general: time and place.
  • The specific portion of space normally occupied by anything: The vase is in its place. Every item on the shelf had its place.
  • A space, area, or spot, set apart or used for a particular purpose: a place of worship; a place of entertainment.
  • A space or seat for a person, as in a theater, train, etc.: Please save my place for me.
  • Position, situation, or circumstances: I would complain if I were in your place.
  • A proper or appropriate location or position: A restaurant is not the place for an argument.
  • A region or area: to travel to distant places.
  • An open space, or square, as in a city or town.
  • A portion of space used for habitation, as a city, town, or village: Trains rarely stop in that place anymore.
  • A building, location, etc., set aside for a specific purpose: He will soon need a larger place for his expanding business.
  • A part of a building: The kitchen is the sunniest place in the house.
  • A residence, dwelling, or house: Please come and have dinner at my place.

Essentially, location is more precise than a place. Location describes the physical structure of the area in specific or general terms, for example, by use of longitude and latitude coordinates or the relative position of the area, i.e. next to the school or opposite the church. A place, on the other hand, is just a physical description of the structure or the area. For example, the neighborhood is a good place to live. A place correlates the area to another area, in order to make a mental judgment.

Image Courtesy: nimbuzz.com, delhigreens.com

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