Grid systems are used to describe the location of a point on a map in a universal manner. They’re also used to project the Earth’s surface and to set up a coordinate system that will allow a point to be described in X-Y space. Grid systems can also be used for mapping out cities and for establishing electrical power transmission routes for delivering power to residential homes and businesses.

Map Format

Grids are created with a point of origin and a uniform distance of spacing between each point. Measurements such as degrees of latitude and longitude are used to divide up space on the Earth’s surface on a map. Other types of map formats include UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator), State Plane, and Public Land Survey.

Electrical Delivery

Electricity is delivered through the use of a grid from a point of generation to consumers. Within an electrical grid system are two processes that are used to transmit and distribute power. Transmission systems use power plants to send power to substations and substations distribute power to homes and businesses. This grid also uses local area networks to deliver power to village or district areas and remote locations.

City Planning

Many cities within the United States were designed using a grid system. City planners chose various religious, political, or social structures or areas as the initial point of reference for this type of grid. Grids were cheaper to implement, allowed for accessible public transportation, and greater access between neighborhoods. Grid systems were used until the 1960s when the street hierarchy replaced it to accommodate automobile traffic.