A point having a given latitude and longitude in NAD27 may be displaced on the order of many tens of meters from another point having the identical latitude and longitude in NAD83 [WGS84 - Ish]. So it is important to specify the datum along with the coordinates. The North American Datum of 1927 is defined by the latitude and longitude of an initial point (Meades Ranch
in Kansas), the direction of a line between this point and a specified second point, and two dimensions that define the spheroid
. The North American Datum of 1983 is based on a newer defined spheroid (GRS80); it is an Earth-centered datum having no initial point or initial direction.