AlgebraGRAPHINGThe coordinate system of a graph is the framework upon which the graph is drawn. A coordinatesystem consists of numbered scales that give the base and the direction for measuring points onthe graph. Any point on a graph can be specified by giving its coordinates. Coordinates describethe location of the point with respect to the scales of the coordinate system. There are severaldifferent coordinate systems commonly encountered.TheCartesianCoordinateSystemThe Cartesian Coordinate System, also known as the rectangular coordinate system, consists oftwo number scales, called the x-axis (at y = 0) and the y-axis (at x = 0), that are perpendicularto each other. Each scale is a number line drawn to intersect the other at zero. The zero pointis called the origin. The divisions along the scales may be any size, but each division must beequal. Figure 1 shows a rectangular coordinate system. The axes divide the coordinate systeminto four regions called quadrants. Quadrant I is the region above the x-axis and to the right ofthe y-axis. Quadrant II is the region above the x-axis and to the left of the y-axis. Quadrant IIIis the region below the x-axis and to the left of the y-axis. Quadrant IV is the region below thex-axis and to the right of the y-axis.Figure 1 The Cartesian SystemRev. 0 Page 73 MA-02

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