July 7th, 2005

Sign: Go

Confluence Project

Thanks to chipuni for mentioning this in his last entry.

I remember running into this years ago. At that time, it was fairly unorganized. Now, it's gotten better...

The Degree Confluence Project is a website that tracks visits to the intersections of integral lattitude and longitude lines. Think of it as nature's geocaching. People hunt out (generally) land-based points where the location is a round number of degrees N/S and E/W. People then post pictures and stories of their visits.

What I like about it is that it provides an ecclectic visual atlas of the world. Since the points are random on the local level, you get an interesting sampling of the region. Oftentimes, the point is simply in the middle of a field somewhere. But you also get some city locations, mountaintops, rivers,...

It's a fascinating way to see the natural world, since it statistically avoids manmade landmarks. Quite cool.

Here's a clickable world map of all logged visits.

Some interesting ones:
Curry, Oregon - relatively close to home 42N 124W.
Mountains of Peru 14S 70W
Central Russia, in the middle of a river 55N 56E
NZ's South Island and a good story 46S 168E
Svalbard and another amusing story 78N 15E
The ocean off Maui, Hawaii 21N 157W
Auvergne, in central France 46N 3E

Anyone else have some favorites?