# Relative coordinates

Updated: 12/26/2023 by Computer Hope

Relative coordinates are locations defined by distance from a reference point rather than an absolute address. For example, an office space may be at 123 Fake Lane. However, its relative coordinates could be two blocks East of the state capital building or three miles south of my uncle's house. A less complicated example is saying that the keyboard is located ten inches in front of your computer monitor. The main point is that relative coordinates always depend on another object's location.

Relative coordinates are used in mathematics, engineering, and computer graphics to simplify calculations and express positions or movements more intuitively. They are especially useful when dealing with transformations, translations, and other operations that involve moving or modifying objects in a coordinate system.

## Technical example

Using the two-dimensional Cartesian system, a point can be described by specifying how far it is from another point in terms of horizontal (x-axis) and vertical (y-axis) distances. For example, to describe the position of point "B" to point "A" with absolute coordinates (2, 5), you might say it's four units to the right and five units up. In this case, the relative coordinates of point "B" from "A" would be (6, 10).