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Visiting Every Latitude and Longitude Intersection 265

Posted by Hemos
from the interesting-projects dept.
Kevin A. Pieckiel writes "The Degree Confluence Project's goal is to visit every latitude and logitude degree integer intersection in the world and journal it on this web site. An excerpt: 'The project is an organized sampling of the world. There is a confluence within 49 miles (79 km) of you if you're on the surface of Earth. We've discounted confluences in the oceans and some near the poles, but there are still 12,889 to be found.' A neat project, indeed." As Timothy noted, I've posted before, and in Slashback form; a while back.
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Visiting Every Latitude and Longitude Intersection

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  • They should... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rokzy (687636) on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:50PM (#9807026)
    ...take loads of photos at each one to make a 360 degree photo. would be a nice way of seeing what the world is like.
    • Re:They should... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chimpo13 (471212)
      If you want to buy me a GPS unit, I'll try it as I circle the world on a motorcycle. I've got a Canon A70 camera, so I'm part of the way there.
    • Re:They should... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by NoMaster (142776)
      Funny you should say that - I was talking to a friend just the other week about his new GPS toy, geocaching, and the Degree Confluence Project. I said it would be interesting to take panoramic pictures every 5 years or so, just to see how things change...
    • People usually take pictures of the four compass points. Close enough, really.
      -russ
    • Panoramas (Score:2, Interesting)

      Many contributors do this already. A few times they'll just submit all the individual images, and one of the coordinators will assemble them into a panorama.

      I've posted panos from most of the confluences I've personally visited: http://www.confluence.org/visitor.php?id=157 [confluence.org]

      Terje Mathisen
      Scandinavian Coordinator The Degree Confluence Project
    • > would be a nice way of seeing what the world is like.

      Especially for those of us who telecommute and only leave home to buy food once a week. We'll finally know that there really is a world out there instead of asking "World? What world?"
  • Why?
    How is this project any more interesting or useful than a confluence of any other human-specified arbitrary classification, e.g. visiting every peak who altitude in cubits is a prime number?
    • by GoogolPlexPlex (412555) on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:58PM (#9807086)
      The concept is to produce a photographic record of the world, where the photographed locations are sampled evenly across the surface of the globe. (approximately - they are closer at the poles, but in those cases use only every second or third confluence). This is different to other outdoor photographic collections, where the images have an "artificial" grouping density around points of interest such as mountains, lakes etc. The idea is to produce a set of images where the ratio of "boring" to "beautiful" images approximates how the world is actually like, in terms of area.
      • by Bingo Foo (179380) on Monday July 26, 2004 @07:22PM (#9807277)
        "Evenly sampled" is used loosely here. For example, the lucky stiff who gets assigned to one of the poles can take fill in 1/180 (360/64800) of all the data points without taking a step!

        A tessellated icosahedron would be better from the standpoint of even sampling, but the coordinate transformations from the GPS-ready latitude and longitude numbers would be prohibitive for most recreational gee-whiz participants.

        • Couldn't they just write a computer conversion program for the tessellated icosahedron?

          Also, I wouldn't necessarily call having to trek to the north or south pole "lucky!"
        • I've also thought this project is pretty neat and even considered helping out with some confluences that are in my area here in Mexico.

          My thought has always been that there aren't enough points to be collected. Sure, it's a better sample of what we have now, but considering the confluences can be dozens of miles apart you can end up skipping entire interesting areas--either interesting for their beauty or for their boringness.

          I personally think that they should at least have the option of submitting pi

      • Did they not say that they would *NOT* be bothering with the ones on the oceans?

        Seems to me that this concept will produce the same sort of bias that you have pointed out photographic collections already do exhibit.

    • by typhoonius (611834) on Monday July 26, 2004 @07:12PM (#9807218) Homepage

      How is this project any more interesting or useful than a confluence of any other human-specified arbitrary classification, e.g. visiting every peak who altitude in cubits is a prime number?

      Yes, it's arbitrary, but you're missing the point. The project's objective is to photograph every area of the world. Why not use latitude and longitude confluence? It's a universally understood metric, it gives a pretty diverse snapshot of the world (not too specific, not too broad), and it gives them an easily quantified goal.

      • This is a sister site [orbitals.com] to this project. It takes a little while to load, but the global map allows you to move your mouse over tiny thumbnails and then a small pop-up of the location, well, pops up.

        I liked your retort, and thought this would help answer previous parent's comment that had asked "how is this project any more interesting..."
    • Several responders missed my point, which is that arbitrary + rigid == uninteresting.

      I'll skip right over the AC flames and go to the worthwhile posts . . .

      "It's a universally understood metric, it gives a pretty diverse snapshot of the world (not too specific, not too broad), and it gives them an easily quantified goal."

      well, how about this alternate proposal? You and I will start at opposite ends of [throw a dart at a map], taking pictures of interesting stuff along the way, until we meet in the middl
  • Fun, but.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:51PM (#9807034) Homepage Journal
    Some of these are going to be on private property and restricted access (e.g. military) sites. A local GeoCache was on a confluence, but pulled because it was on private property. Probably best to ask permission before tresspassing, lest the intrepid explorer find their butt full of rocksalt or buckshot.
    • by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Monday July 26, 2004 @07:05PM (#9807151) Homepage Journal
      I can see it now...

      "I was unable to get to 70W by 45N, because there was an Army base there. Update: Someone's knocking on the door."
      • I can't get a link, thanks to slashdotting, but there was one like this in the UK. The confluence was in a restricted area of a munitions dump. The guy eventually got permission to enter, but not before sending Garmin's emissions data for his GPS unit, among other things. These guys sure do persevere!

        They have form letters to download on the site, in several languages, to be given to landowners, explaining what the project is about.

      • I saw one like this somewhere in California. The closest they could get was to a road along the fenced area of the base, within several hundred meters of the confluence.

        They ended up taking pictures in the direction of the confluence and posted comments saying it was X hundred meters behind the fence.
    • Heres the only one in Nevada [confluence.org] listed as unvisited, although there is a picture and a story...
    • Interestingly enough, the "49th Parallel" portion of the Canada/USA border is *NOT* exactly 49N (it's 49d00m07sN). Mind you, the USA 49N confluences are still close enough to the border that you're likely to end up playing 20 questions with the local DEA officer.
  • I think a Slashdotting counts as "two or more streams"...

    confluence n.

    1. A flowing together of two or more streams.
    2. The point of juncture of such streams.
    3. The combined stream formed by this juncture.


  • by otisg (92803) on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:52PM (#9807040) Homepage Journal
    It would be interesting to see a summary listing spots that are the most extreme in any way.
  • I dunno (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp.gmail@com> on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:52PM (#9807043) Homepage
    I don't mean to be overly-critical of this, but while I think this is a very interesting idea for a project, but I'm not sure the result is half as interesting as the idea. I think it would be a more interesting read if it were just one person or a small group of people visting all of these intersections.

    Actually, that's a lot to read, I think somebody should do the same type of thing, but with intersections of lines that are multiples of ten. I mean, you would still get a reasonably complete view of the world and all of the places in it.

    Another idea to make the product of this more interesting would be 360 degree panorama shots at each intersection. Again, this would be somehting more easily accomplished if it were just one person or a small group of people doing this.
    • Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iamdrscience (541136)
      I'd be curious about how many of these intersections lie inside of buildings or other private property. Has anyone found an intersection yet that could be unvisitable? You know, something like an intersection in the middle of a military complex or something?
    • I think somebody should do the same type of thing, but with intersections of lines that are multiples of ten. I mean, you would still get a reasonably complete view of the world and all of the places in it.

      They'll get much better coverage initially this way. More points to visit == more people sending in images. Sure it will take a lot longer for the project to be "complete," but with that many more points scattered around, the chances of someone who lives close by picking up a camera and going there a

  • I might try this sometime- but I think 45N 121W is right smack dab in the middle of the Warm Springs Reservation....
  • Oh perfect. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:55PM (#9807068)
    Random pictures at arbitrary points on the planet.

    Sounds just like every other photo blog.
  • by Burdell (228580) on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:55PM (#9807069)
    ...but there are still 12,889 to be found.
    I found every single one of them. They're all right here on my globe.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday July 26, 2004 @06:57PM (#9807083)
    37N 116W

    Good luck, you'll need it!

  • Set up a solar powered WiFi node and weather station with satellite uplink at every confluence!

    Stefan
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday July 26, 2004 @07:07PM (#9807169) Homepage Journal
    Hasn't another project [starbucks.com] already acheived this and begun interpolation?

    And on top of that, we already have another project to visit all those locations [slashdot.org], which have have been marked with a retail location by the previous project.

    So while some redundancy may be a good thing, this sounds like overkill.
  • Lost in flight (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Camel Pilot (78781) on Monday July 26, 2004 @07:10PM (#9807197) Homepage Journal
    I once worked with a fellow who wrote software for ICBM's and he commented that one of the worst places to be in the event of a nuclear exchange was at Lat 0, Long 0 because there where several possible failure modes where the missiles would try to find their way here [confluence.org]
  • This is so wickedly cool! says the guy who knows the latitude and longitude of his home. :) I spend plane trips staring out the window studying the changing patterns of terrain and land use. Folks who snooze while passing over "fly-over land" can see what the rest of the country^Wworld look like and how it differs from place to place. It would be really interesting to come back in 100 years, do the same thing, and compare the pictures.

    People who cannot appreciate something like this cannot be real nerd

    • Right on - glad to hear I'm not the only one. I recently spent the entire 4.5 hours flying Vancouver-Toronto just staring at the terrain. Fascinating stuff - I'm sure I saw part of an astroblem on the praries, just a hint of an arc heading up to the north but contiguous over many miles. I fly a lot these days, but I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching the earth below.
  • As a member of the Loyal Order of Shellbacks, I can attest that I and the crew of the good ship T.S. Enterprise crossed the equator at 85 degrees West , and 0 degrees North/South. There are many a mariner whom have completed this right of passage across the seven seas, none of whom will forget, either.
    • I'll never forget May 7, 1989, the day I was initiated by his Majesty Neptunus Rex, Ruler of the Raging Main, into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep.

      But what you be doin', spilling the beans to these Polywog scum? His Majesty, Davy Jones, and the Royal Baby would have to put in overtime if they were slashdotted. There's not enough room on the forecastle for the lot of 'em and it would take years to get them all through the rebirthing chamber.

  • by huskerdoo (186982) on Monday July 26, 2004 @07:46PM (#9807408) Homepage
    Why is it that when someone comes up with an idea/goal, the Slashdot crowd has to belittle the idea as insignificant? This reminds me of high school when anyone who acted a bit different was made fun of because they didn't go along with the status quo. Yawn.

    People, you are hackers/nerds! You are supposed to encourage each other to set goals and follow through on them.

    Yes, I am biased. I visited five confluences when I was in Australia. Because I had to change my travel plans for the first confulence visit, I ended up meeting a girl which I dated for a year.

    Life is short, go do something with your lives, don't tear down anyone who chooses to follow through on an idea, rather than just sit around and watch reruns of Friends.
    • by jnicholson (733344) on Monday July 26, 2004 @08:41PM (#9807735) Homepage
      Perhaps there is an increasing number of people who are here to mock the nerds, rather than revel in their own nerdness.

      This project is clearly an entirely appropriate use of resources, as is the idea of having a space program, if you're a genuine nerd.

      (BTW, unless she was a sheep, you probably should have said "whom I dated", not "which I dated". Was she a sheep?)

    • Life is short, go do something with your lives, don't tear down anyone who chooses to follow through on an idea, rather than just sit around and watch reruns of Friends.

      Unless your goal is to watch every rerun of Friends. In that case, you can set up a website describing your experiences of watching Friends during all the different times it is shown. Then you can get Slashdotted.
    • Exactly, most of what people do is pointless anyways when you look at it from the right angle. Sports is a good example. Most sports involve putting some randomly defined object in some randomly defined locations, removing it, then, trying to do it all over again. Sounds pointless doesn't it?
    • ... but, did you take pictures OF THE GIRL??? ;-)
      On one of the confluences? Hmm, can you post them on the site? ;-)

      Yes, it is getting silly how all /. start complaining about pointless misuse of "effort and resources". Depressing. I would love to visit my own, but I bet all So. Cali. points are taken (back to checking if they are).

      Paul B.

  • There's a confluence about 20 miles southeast of my house. One night I convinced a friend of mine to help me go look for it, so we broke out the GPS and hit the road. After whacking our way through some overgrown forest, the place turned out to be in the middle of some farmer's paddock - I got to within ninteen feet, then cut and ran when an enormous black horse woke up and started stamping its feet at me.

    My friend thought I was completely insane, but I know better :)
  • 49 miles? (Score:3, Funny)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Monday July 26, 2004 @07:57PM (#9807502) Homepage
    There is a confluence within 49 miles (79 km) of you if you're on the surface of Earth.
    I'm posting from Mars, you insensitive clod!

    The worst part is that it's almost impossible to get a first post from here...

    • "I'm posting from Mars, you insensitive clod!"

      Not only are the confluences nearer together where you are, but they're all on land, and nobody has visited any of them yet. I don't know if there's a section in DCP for other planets though...
  • It sounds like a great way to tour the world on somebody else's nickel. Maybe I can bring back a tacky souvenier (or at least a sample of the water) from each location.

  • by RabidMonkey (30447) <canadaboy AT gmail DOT com> on Monday July 26, 2004 @08:08PM (#9807557) Homepage
    I've done one confluence (http://www.confluence.org/confluence.php?lat=46&l on=-79 [confluence.org]) in Ontario now, and attempted a few more. My brother-in-law and I like them because they give us somewhere to go and a reason to go there.

    In fact, I spent a week at the beginning of July trying to get some in Northern Ontario, but gave up. I never realized how swampy and densely tree'd the north is. It was really great to get out and see part of my country, as well as giving us a great appreciation for the people who first settled up there and the hardships they faced.

    I highly reccomend everyone pick a confluence and go for it, even if it's done. It's a great excuse to get out and see your country and meet people. All you need is a GPS and some boots. For even more fun, pick somewhere where you get to canoe or kayak, or ski or mountain bike. It's great exercise and can mesh nicely with Geocaching.

    Go, get some, and stop being so negative people ... people are saying it's a waste of time, that this isn't a good project. Whos to say that programming whatever application you're working on isn't the same waste because who cares, theres already 15 other mail clients out there, or 27 other people who have already ported X to Y system .. thats not the point. Stop being so narrow minded.

  • How far apart are 1deg longitudianal lines at the equator? How far apart, say, 10 or 20 degrees south of the north pole?

    Also, I forget--do lines of latitude get closer together as you go closer to the poles, or are they all X miles apart?
    • You don't need fancy math to answer the first question. There are 360 1-degree lines, therefore the distance between the lines at the equator is 1/360th of the circumference of the earth, i.e., 24900/360 = 69.16 miles.
  • "We've discounted confluences in the oceans and some near the poles"

    Sissies.
  • ...Just think of all the cool places or things that they may well find, but that were unknown up 'til now!

    --Jimmy Hoffa's tomb!

    --Bill Shatner's lost hairpiece!

    --The Lost City of Sitnalta!

    --The True Location of the Firesign Theater!

    --Osama!

    ...And MANY MORE!!!



  • Radians (Score:3, Funny)

    by Kludge (13653) on Monday July 26, 2004 @08:55PM (#9807829)
    This project would be a lot easier if they were working in the more natural units of radians rather than degrees. :)
  • We've discounted confluences in the oceans and some near the poles, but there are still 12,889 to be found.

    You damn sissy! If you're gonna do a project, why do it half-way?! What a damn bum..

    DOn't let the cold or the middle of the ocean stop ya'. Man has been to both poles. Man has covered the ocean. Why can't you do it now?
  • by v1 (525388)
    Server's finally dead. Took awhile too. Impressive.

    Too bad all the ones in my state are already visited. The "aerial visits disqualified" is going to make this more challenging for places that have to be visited by sea.
  • When you get down to it, angle measure in integers refers to radians. At 2 * pi radians all the way around the earth, there aren't *that* many intersections of integers.

    But do people living at an intersection even know that. It doesn't look like anyone makes a point of it.
  • by Jump (135604)
    Your next project will be to shake hands of everybody in the world in alphabetic order. Start with your own town as a pilot study.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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