Spherical coordinate system

coordinate system based around angle and distance from the origin

A spherical coordinate system uses three numbers to identify a point in space.: Usually, two angles, and a distance from the origin of the coordinate system. If the point lies on the sphere, only the two angles are needed, because the distance from the origin is known.

The three coordinate variables are ${\displaystyle r,\theta ,{\text{ and }}\varphi }$
The two angular variables are related to the Earth's latitude and longitude

The two angular numbers are related to lines of longitude and latitude on Earth. Earth's longitude is the same as the variable phi, which can be written as either ${\displaystyle \phi }$ or ${\displaystyle \varphi \!.}$ The latitude resembles the variable ${\displaystyle \theta \,\!}$ (theta), except that some authors define ${\displaystyle \theta =0}$ to be at the north pole instead of at the equator.