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Another Cool GPS Project: Degree Confluence 94

Omicron writes "Not too long ago, there was an article here on a game called Geocaching. Since that time, I've gotten really involved in the game, and because of that involvement, I found another cool project during a mailing list discussion. It's called The Degree Confluence Project and the goal of the project is to have people visit and photograph almost every integer intersection of latitude and longitude on the face of the planet. I've already found three of them."
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Another Cool GPS Project: Degree Confluence

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  • hmmm, I wonder what percentage of those 11,650 are dangerous to your health to be at? (e.g. mountain pass in the Andes, back alley in Kuala Lumpur...)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You're asking how many of these points there are? You didn't do so well on the math part of the SAT, did you?

    (BTW... you have 360 * 89 + 1 in both the northen and southern hemisphere, since at 90 deg lat. you only have one point, plus another 360 on the equator. That's 64,442 pyramids. Of course, I have no idea how many of those are either on the continental shelves, and how many are too deep to build a pyramid with current tech...)
  • why can't they pick something that is actually useful?

    Because things such as what you mentioned are not nearly as interesting.

    You might also ask why people waste^H^H^H^H^H spend time installing linux from source code [linuxfromscratch.org] when they could get a perfectly good distribution from Redhat, Slackware, Debian, Mandrake, ect. There's nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that you compiled every single program onto a bare partition and it actually works.

    Even though unlike Linux From Scratch, the Degree Confluence project doesn't produce anything useful the point is...um... I'm not sure what the point is, but i'm sure you got it.
  • by RollingThunder ( 88952 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @03:09PM (#529820)

    360 degrees of longitude, 179 unique degrees of latitude (count 0, and omit 90 N and 90 S).

    360 * 179 + 2 (N and S poles) = 64442

    Not that many at all. And you can cut that to about 35% or so, given the amount of water thats covering the surface of the earth.

  • So how about a project to create a clickable
    map of the world that would access a photograph
    of that place? Then you could sit in front of
    a browser and go anywhere in the world by
    clicking on the map.
  • >the math isn't hard, but there is the Poles Problem. Basically as you approach the poles the longitude lines come close together.

    Where's the problem?

    I hereby volunteer for all 720 points at 89N and 89S! (Woohoo, look at my stats go up! :-)

    To be fair, I also volunteered for most of those points in the blue parts of the planet near the Equator, where longitude points are a long way apart. (What, you wanna prove I wasn't there? Fine! Go there and look for yourself! Bet your pictures look just like mine!)

  • Sure, but read up on it. It's not as difficult as it would be with say, a sextant, but it's still pretty tough in many cases.

    For example, in Manhattan NY NY, find the sidewalk AROUND the building that houses those coordinates. Figure out a way to get access to the rooftop garden for the prize. Oh, but the GPS unit you have has an EPE (estimated positional error) of about fifty feet. Damn, was in that mailbox on the streetcorner or not?

    Or, you're in a forest, in a river valley. You've narrowed the position down to a tenth of an acre, but the tree and rock coverage gives you crappy reception. You figure it's right there, but an outcropping means you'll have to trek the long way to find a way to ford the stream.

  • Already done. There is a link to it on the front page of the project's site.
  • Well, that's pretty much what this project is trying to do. The clickable map is here [hitmaninc.com]. only problem is that it's really not all that complete now. Mostly it just highlights places where there are a lot of people with too much money to spend.

    It does make for a kind of fun afternoon out doing a little hiking. My contributions can be seen here [confluence.org] and here [confluence.org]. Hopefully I'll get the chance to visit a couple of other random places when I go on vacation this summer.

  • The challenge is to do *all* of them. Look at the one for Eagle Bay, NY. How the heck are you going to get *there*??
  • Lemmee see...first I'll take a shot of empty ocean. Looking down. Then I'll take a shot of snow. I'll then post those two photos, together with a claim to have visited approximately 37,492 of the integer intersections. Who's to contradict me?

    (Yes, I made up the number. This is too silly for me to waste time on a real calculation.)

  • I bet you I can get you the most points... Just take a little cruise out of the Golden Gate until I can't see land anymore, take one picture of a blue ocean, then follow up with some photoshop work on the gps receiver.. lot's and lots of ocean! Earth's pretty dull people! Now, if only we could see what the bottom of the ocean looks like.... well, suppose we'll have to consult the RIAA lawyers. :)
  • You are absolutely right and were scored unfairly.

    Who really gives a shit? It's only an accident that the lines run through any point as apposed to any other anyway.
  • ...says at least one of these points will be at someone's nuclear missile bunker, or secret submarine pen, or in the middle of the Pentagon, or something (Now try photographing that)
  • Seeing all the "What's the point?" posts here, I can only gather there aren't very many outdoorsmen (or women) in the slashdot community. Yes, as a matter of fact, going out to some arbitrary point in the middle of nowhere [confluence.org] is thrilling. Sort of like mountain climbing -- because it is there. Read some of the reports, and look at the pictures, and you'll see just what sorts of adventures people have. Some beautiful places [confluence.org], friendly people [confluence.org] you'd never meet otherwise. It could be argued that there's more point to this than playing EverCrack for hours.
  • And everyone can guess what'll happen if a picture is taken of a real oasis...
  • It is possible to see a virgin Slashdot story, with no responses, and resist the temptation to reach for the "Reply" button. I've done it. It's possible.

    Just *damn* hard! But so far I've resisted the FP urge...
  • Part of plate tectonics is that one plate can slide under another plate and be melted..

    What would happen to a pyramid in that predicament, and how long would it be till that happened?
  • by ken_i_m ( 61209 )
    I have just recently begun to consider a GPS unit as I have been reading through the Network Time Protocol. Using a GPS unit I can achive better than millisecond time accuracy. It is interesting to see that if I do get one I can put it to other uses.

    I think, therefore, ken_i_m
  • But the distance between degree longitude at the equator is fairly huge (looking at my globe) compared with the poles.

    from the faq about the resolving the poles problem [confluence.org]

    "At 89 degrees latitude, one degree from the north or south pole, the line are 1.2 miles apart. This skews the sample sharply to the poles and neglects the equitorial regions ...a solution to the problem is to skip confluences when the distance between them falls below 2/3 of the distance at the equator ... [they] are still valid confluences, and will be posted if visited, but are not part of the official goals of the project."

  • copied straight from the faq [confluence.org]

    1.3 How many confluences are there? [confluence.org]
    There are 64,442 latitude and longitude degree intersections in the world (counting each pole as one intersection). Of these, 47,650 meet the goals of the project after removing many confluences near the poles [confluence.org]. Of these, about 12,000 are actually on the land. As you may guess, we're not worried about running out of confluences.

  • I seem to remember that a few years ago, someone found four equidistant points on land and erected a small but carefully aligned 3-sided pyramid at each one, thereby constructing a giant imaginary tetrahedron as large as the earth.

    This sculpture was one of the characters in David Brin's novel Earth.

  • You seem to have this idea that the math is hard. Take a worst-case approach, a picture for every intersection. There are 360 longitude lines and 179 latitude lines, plus two points for the poles. A total of 360*179+2 = 64442 pictures, worst-case. Now assume 3/4ths of those points are uninteresting because they're covered by water, so you get roughly 16,110 pictures.

    Given the number of porn pictures on the average 'net user's hard drive, I don't think the storage end of things is all that impractical. Even with a megabyte per site, that's still only 16 gigs, or about a McDonald's meal's cost worth of storage. The difficult part is actually going out to these places with a camera.
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • How exactly do longitudal coords get adjusted for contenential drive, I mean, Greenwich is slowly moving away from France. Even the poles move slowly.
  • That *would* be really good! I have, personally, been interested in the stars for ages and the big problem with that would be navigating in some parts of the world (the cloudy parts;). They would also need an accurate measure of the time to navigate by the stars, and using a digital watch seems like cheating, so what could they do? I suppose it depends on the level of technology you are talking about - late 18th and 19th centuries would be fine, because you could get fairly accurate clockwork watches then, but what about earlier? It would be most difficult.

    I also wonder how they are going to get to the more difficult intersects (Central Siberia, South Polar Seas etc) - I mean that would be difficult eneough with some of todays technologies (not to mention red tape), but with medieval/renaissance technologies? It would be really hard.

  • For anyone interested in getting into this or Geocaching, I'd reccomend heading over to your local Office Depot. They are selling the Garmin GPS III Plus for $99.98 this week. Usually it goes for $280. Also OD has a $10 off >$50 special, so you can get it for $89. Good deal, no?

    And NO, I don't work for Office Depot. Even if I did, I'd never see any of the $$...

  • > How exactly do longitudal coords get adjusted
    > for contenential drive, I mean, Greenwich is
    > slowly moving away from France. Even the poles
    > move slowly.

    Not a problem for handheld GPS units. Consider that the average unit only has an accuracy of 100 meters, and the average continent is moving at around 10cm/year, it would take several centuries before a casual observer would notice this.
  • ACK! I just spent the regular price on a Garmin GPS III+!

    Digging for a receipt...

  • The website has all this info. As other replies have mentioned, the math isn't hard, but there is the Poles Problem [confluence.org]. Basically as you approach the poles the longitude lines come close together. Near a pole, it's not worth trying to get to one confluence only a few miles away from another. So, they remove don't count certain intersections.

    Overall, another mindless, worthless, but totally interesting reason for geeks to get outside.

  • by mrbill ( 4993 )
    I submitted both the geocaching and
    degree confluence links *months* ago.
    Oh well.
  • The first photo on his website, showing a monstrous badger sculpture and a log behind it, is located on Hwy 45. It used to be a gas station and tourist-oriented gift-shop at one time, if I recall correctly. Although in the recent past, it's been converted to an gentlemen's club.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
  • My first thought was that this sounded boring and artificial. It's a quest to visit arbitrary coordinates. Then you get to the last of his anecdotes, where they introduced themselves to a farmer who owned the land they needed to cross and took one of his kids along on the hunt.

    Another trek put them a half mile out on a snowmobile trail, on foot.

    That counts for something.

  • we had erect a huge piramid at each point ...

    How about Mono [slashdot.org]-liths [slashdot.org]?

  • While that would be cool, something of a similar nature (but even cooler) has been kicking around for a while, and already has just about all of the US - see if you can find your house:

    http://www.terraserver.com/findaplace.asp [terraserver.com]
  • Assuming future civilisations have our reckoning of time..... (which is where the degrees are comprised)
  • Whoa, where have you been? This is old news - the confluence project has been around for a while now. I'm actively involved with it on 31N, so far have been able to get to 4 confluences, one of which was in the middle of a damn swamp!
  • I called a bunch of Office Depots in the Seattle area, but none of them seemed to know anything about the Garmin GPS III+ being on sale. Maybe it was just your store that had some?
  • Make sure you get one that outputs a synchable
    time string. Most of the GSPs used to sync clocks with put out a voltage every second by which your clocker program will sync.
  • We will :) You have to take a picture of your
    GPS unit showing the coords when you submit it to
    the conflucene folks.

    YEah yeah, you *could* alter the pic of your GPS in gimp or what have you, but what's the point.
  • On the south pole. I count 6 photos there, and they should have sixty times more.
  • In Colorado there are peak climbing goals
    such as all peaks above 14,000' (55) or 4000m (98)
    or highest peak in each county.
    No you can try to find the highest point in each
    square degree via GPS.

  • 45N 74W Rockburn, QC, CA (almost on CA,US border)
    45N 75W W of Cornwall, ON, CA (across from Massena, NY, US)
    46N 74W E of St-Adele, QC, CA (bring Cross-country skis!)
    46N 75W SE of Duhamel, QC, CA (no roads within 20 km!)

  • I seem to remember that a few years ago, someone found four equidistant points on land and erected a small but carefully aligned 3-sided pyramid at each one, thereby constructing a giant imaginary tetrahedron as large as the earth.
  • I love the idea of a planetary sampling effort like this, it go great on a CD to ship with the next Voyager-style craft.

    See! Lovely Earth Real Estate!

    Thrill! To thousands of pictures of little electronic devices with 00's on them!

    Marvel! At GPS enthusiasts treading water in the open ocean or trekking across Antarctica!


  • If I had a GPS, I would have gotten into the geocaching thing. I was tempted to put some sort of prize in a bucket and drop it down an one of the many abandoned mine ventilation shafts in my area. :) You could be within five feet of the location, and never find it. :) I guess it sounds stupid when I tell other people.

  • by influensa ( 267570 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @02:53PM (#529863) Homepage
    What I think would be cool is seeing people using ancient technologies (like compasses and sextants) to play the GPS games. That would certainly earn them my complete admiration.

    Pre-GPS technology can theroretically be just as accurate, can it not? I guess it depends on the person. I for one have such a horrible sense of direction (hitchhiked across Canada with a friend this summer, and took us on a wrong direction "short-cut"... almost, good thing my friend is smarter than me ;)

  • Actually, they can be just as accurate. It's just as easy to grab a topographical map and a compass (which I use to do a lot before I got a GPS). But, there is a lot more time involved with a compass, and it's not as quick and convenient to hike through the woods, checking your compass and getting a bearing every couple of minutes. The GPS just makes it a lot easier. I always have something else as a backup tho.
  • hurrah for anonymous cowards keeping it real.

  • There should be prizes for people who can get the most points first, and earliest.

    I've been looking for an excuse to get a GPS and a digital camera, I think I just found it. Now I just need to take a 1 month vacation with my Jeep and see how many points I can rack up.

    (points... get it? get it? Ha ha ha ha. sorry.)

    Torrey Hoffman (Azog)
  • Is close enough to New Orleans to merit a trip, but it would be a shame to spend all your time standing in a swamp.

    Great goal, go visit nowhere! Try visiting places where people intersect instead.

  • 30x90 isn't in a swamp, it's in a landfill. The closest you can get to it by land without trespassing is to go to Almonaster Blvd, which runs east-west paralleling the Intracoastal Waterway about 2000 ft to the south. 30x90 is at the water's edge almost exactly between Jourdan Rd, which runs from Almonaster to the water parallel to the Industrial Canal (which in turn right-angles the ICW), and Elaine St. which runs to the water about 1 mile past Jourdan. The ruins of the Pic'nSave warehouse flank the landfill on one side, and a succession of auto salvage yards flank the other.

    If you thought to bring a small boat (even a jet ski would do, or a 12 ft flatboat with small outboard) and launch it from the Paris Rd boat launch, though, you could sail up and stand right at the spot.

    Mapquest shows it here [mapquest.com].

  • i find this "sport" quite amusing. it entails looking at a hand-held computer and walking/swimming/driving in whatever direction it points.

    "back in my day" (at my grand old age of 21) we used top-maps, markers, compasses and natural land masses to calculate where we were and where we needed to go on hikes and camping trips.

    this just seems to take all the fun out of it. kind of like hunting in those special fenced in ranges with animals that spent their entire lives raised by men (so there is no fear). you can just walk up and shoot them in the head with your BFG.
  • I think a digital watch would not be cheating, it's still the same method, just a different interface.

    The difference between GPS and older technologies is more methodic.

    Also, now that you mention the hard to reach places, I wonder how many of the photos will just be "water-shots" with no real terrain to them. I guess it would be approximately equal to the percentage of the earth covered with water (what's that? 2/3? 3/4?)

  • one smack dab in the middle of an active volcano...

  • Well, since someone brought up 30x90 it's worth mentioning that feral pigs are known to roam that area of New Orleans east. Fortunately 30x90 isn't too far from the water...
  • Actually, that's not correct, since at the north and south poles, all 360 degrees of longitude converge on the same point. The correct number is

    (180*360)-718 = 64,082
  • That would just become part of the Mystery. :)
  • Consider that the average unit only has an accuracy of 100 meters
    Huh? I have a Garmin eTrex [garmin.com] GPS device, which has the size of a cell phone. The accuracy (or is it the precision?) is usually better than 12 meters, and often at 6 or 8 meters.

    100 meters? That must have been before 1st May 2000 when DoD lifted the scrambling of the GPS signals...

    // Klaus

  • How many of these points are there? Well, there are 360 degrees of longitude and 180 degrees of latitude, 360 x 180 = 64,800.
  • It amazes me how many of the confluences in the US are out in rural areas. Sometimes, the terrain makes it very hard to get there.. It will be interesting when they complete the project (or when they at least finish the US). We'll probably notice that there's a lot more space out there than we think..

    And then someone will decide the next logical step is to start founding new towns at the unpopulated confluences....
  • Letterboxing is a hobby that's been around for I guess forever. It's kinda like geocaching, but typically uses just compass and your feet. You follow 'clues', basically instructions, containing bearings and number paces to your turns until you find the goal.

    Take a look at the Letterboxing website [letterboxing.org].

    Have fun,
  • Offtopic: What is with these sad bastards who have nothing better to do than reload slashdot every 10 sec just so they can post an inane message about how they were first to post. To those people, Get a Life!

    You do realize it is possible to be the first person to post to an article without constantly reloading the page, right? And at such a time, you do realize it is nearly impossible to deny your primal urge to post a quick, stupid message saying so.

    You do know this, right?

  • And you can cut that to about 35% or so, given the amount of water thats covering the surface of the earth.

    Oh, so they're going to half-ass this project then, eh?
  • 45N 76W N of Smith Falls, ON, CA 46N 76W N of Kazabazua, QC, CA

  • The web site offers a map of the locations photographed so far. The USA, parts of Europe & Australia seem to have several participants, but vast areas of human habitation seem uninvolved in this project. Are these people just ignorant or is this an endeavor that only the idle rich pursue?
  • Also, the guy that went there on his business trip called it "about 5 miles outside New Orleans." or something to that effect.

    I grew up about 3 miles NE of 30x90. It's well within city limits, just far outside of downtown. And it's arguably the ugliest part of the city. That took balls, for the guy to go there not knowing what he'd find. I know how to get there without much trouble, I know Old Gentilly Rd. and Almonaster better than I should. You can find some strange stuff back there. (anything from fossils in the gravel lining the canal to industrial waste to packs of wild dogs to packs of wild humans)

    Yeah, it wouldn't be a far trip from the Paris Rd. boat launch. Hmm... I'll be back home in a few months, my father still has his flatboat, trailer and hitch. Now all I need is to borrow a GPS and I'm set. They did say they'd post two visits to a confluence.

  • Each point is 1.04nm apart at 89 deg N/S.
    This doesnt account for the 1/f or 1/298 earth flatenning from the equator to the poles.

  • Anybody remember the old Dr Doolittle books, where the Doctor would open up an atlas (or was it a globe?), close his eyes, point a finger at the page, and go wherever his finger pointed? That's what this reminds me of.

    Of course, the Doctor always happened to choose somewhere remote and tropical, yet fantastically interesting...
  • I had been putting off a trip to a waypoint in eastern NC [confluence.org] for a while now, but now that this story's out, I fully expect to arrive there only to find seventy-five geeks milling about with their Magellan sets waiting patiently to stand at a Slashdotted geographical location to get their picture taken. Crud!

  • accuracy is 12 meters. precision is whatever co-ords you have it set to. My garmin 12map has dd mm.ddd which is about 2 meters. bob
  • Quick, somebody figure out what 6.02E23 mod 180 is and let's have a party where it intersects the prime meridian.
    6.02E23 mod 180 = zero.

    well, according to my TI-83+:
    6.02E11 / 180 = 3344444444.0
    multiplying that by 1E12 would hardly introduce any more numbers less than one.

    Have fun at the north pole! [matthewhenson.com] Don't forget to insulate and heat your yacht, though - I imagine it would get rather chilly above the water around there. pretty deep [matthewhenson.com], too.
  • Prizes and "racking up points" are against the whole spirit of the project. It's specifically *not* a competition. It's a project to document all the confluences with pictures and stories of what the places are like. It's meant to be a fun adventure and a revelation into what our planet looks like. Using the confluence points to do this is somewhat arbitrary, but all endeavors need some structure. It's a decidedly idealistic and non-commercial venture -- like the internet used to be. - MEW
  • Of course surveying by other means can be more accurate than a GPS.

    The GPS is limited due to degredation of the signals from the satellites by the atmosphere and from the accuracy of the on-board electronics. The manufacturers cite a 100 m accuracy, though in general it is much better than this. A typical low-cost handheld GPS will often list horizontal errors on the order of 5 meters, but that is an estimate of 1 standard deviation. The vertical error is often two or three times as great. The error is also only an estimate, and can easily be twice that reported. You can improve the GPS with a DGPS (Differential GPS), since the atmospheric errors are largely the same nearby. You can subscribe to a satellite broadcast correction hat can get you to +/- 1 meter, or go for real surveying GPS gear ($10,000+) and get +/- 0.01 meter or better.

    Traditional surveying gear (such as a theodolite or a laser range finder) can easily get millimeter accuracy if you measure from a known location. Astronomical surveying can get accurate locations without known points. The latitude is easy, but the longitude requires a properly calibrated set of tables, some serious math, and a good watch.

    All of the GPS methods give you coordinates that are in the WGS 84 (World Geodetic System) coordinate system or some simple modification there in. Most topo maps are not in this coordinate system, and, at most, have a few crosshairs printed on them to help the user adjust. The US topo maps are almost exclusively in the NAD 27 coordinate system. Using the lame datum shift in GPS to convert between NAD 27 and WGS 84 can give some serious errors (about 11 meters where I live, as much as 60 in some parts of the US, and more in TROTW). This results in the question of which confluence you want to measure. Differences are huge.

    The Degree Confluence Project uses the WGS 84 coordinate system, and so a GPS gives the location easily in the correct system. Using a map and compass or a theodolite and chain or a telescope and lunar table, you not only have to locate the correct point, but you have to figure out where the correct point is located.

  • by sulli ( 195030 )
    41'N, 119'W [mapquest.com] is not too far from Black Rock City, NV [burningman.com]. Maybe Spencer Tunick [thebluedot.com] could do a photo there next year?
  • by lmake ( 240649 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @03:02PM (#529892) Homepage
    we had erect a huge piramid at each point so that future civilisations can marvel at how accuratly we managed to spread these structures out, and wonder why we did it. Only we will know that we did it to waste time because we had nothing better to do.

    How many of these points are there? How long would it take to get all of them?

    Offtopic: What is with these sad bastards who have nothing better to do than reload slashdot every 10 sec just so they can post an inane message about how they were first to post. To those people, Get a Life!

  • millions are reading their article and wasting their time... this thing [timepasstown.com] here is the only solution...
  • I really don't see the fun/challenge in this. Now if you were to navigate to these using a topo, compass, and landmarks (or better yet, a sextant) - that would be a challenge. You could then have a neutral third party check your accuracy with a GPS, as long as they offered NO help at all. Guess it'd be like orienteering, with DGs as your objectives, and no markers.
  • Explained here [confluence.org].

    Basically, the longitude lines get too close together as you approach the poles to be any fun.

  • Has someone done the math? How many images that would be? How much should each image weight (in kbytes) so that it would be worth the effort?

    I'm thinking about how nice it would be for a web server hosting all these images to exist? But how expensive would such effort would be? I understand that MS's Terraserver has several terabytes of images but it seems that this project wouldn't need such a massive storage available. It would be so incredible to see such a thing, though.

  • 179*360 + 2 = 64,442

    When you include the equator. Duh!
  • That's how the future investigators would date the project.
  • yeah, iirc, Easter Island is one of the places. I can't remember if one of the others was in Africa or greenland (there are very few qualifying places that won't drown you), but I remember the four points chosen for the gravity guns were South Africa, Greenland, Easter Island and Papua New Guinea (?). I really need to read that book again (I rather like the final final chapter (after the acknowledgments).

    Bill - aka taniwha

  • If they were truly hackers they'd be doing it at binary intersections. 1x1, 11x11 (3olat x 3olong), 111x111 (7olat x 7olong), etc.

  • Earth's surface is ~2/3 water.

    Bill - aka taniwha

  • You can time things by observing Jupiter's moons, or any other well-known astronomic event. Clocks were developed for seaborne use due to the difficulty of using a telescope on board, but the astronomical method is still useful on land. Basically if you know that everyone in the world is looking at the same event at the same time, you can compare measurements at that instant, say between Greenwich and your location, and get the longitude difference from that.
  • The confluence of 45N123W is in a field in Salem, Oregon. A local fellow put up a sign to that effect and it was removed by the city a few weeks later.
  • If they were truly hackers they'd be doing it at binary intersections. 1x1, 11x11 (3olat x 3olong), 111x111 (7olat x 7olong), etc.
    Actually, these are numbers of the form 2^n-1 (which don't seem any more "binary" than other numbers), and there would only be 24 (or so) such points on the globe. So, not too exciting. Plus, all these points would be included in their project anyway.


  • I agree that turning it into some sort of big commercial contest with teams and sponsors and advertising and logos on the 4-x-4's and stuff would not be as nice as the community effort approach.

    But, I didn't mean "big cash prizes", more like "T-shirt" prizes. Yes, it's more of an adventure than anything, but it's still fun to have a little recognition to shoot for. Just like Linux is a community effort but has some commercial supporters...

    Going to an arbitrary point on the world just because it has nice round numbers in a totally artificial coordinate system is such a geeky thing to do - I love it.

    I think it would be neat if some company (probably Garmin or some other GPS company) was to sponsor some mostly small prizes for people who manage to get to and document a lot of confluences. Perhaps a T-shirt for anyone who documents three previously unreached confluences, and maybe some GPS accessories or software for people who get five or six of them.

    As it turns out I just ordered a GPS, partly because of this website and have been looking at some maps of the area (Seattle area) to see if there are some nearby confluences I could get.

    Most of the easy ones are taken already, but I might try for one of the more difficult ones on the 48th parallel east of Seattle. Also, it seems like none of the confluences in British Columbia have been reached yet! I might go for some of those on a summer camping vacation. Just for fun, sure. But getting T-shirts is cool too!

    Torrey Hoffman (Azog)
  • You can buy calendars [confluence.org] from the web site, also T-shirts. [confluence.org]

    If you think the project is pointless, no need to participate.

    Ada [confluence.org] Kerman [kermanenterprises.com], United States Facilitator for the DCP [confluence.org]
  • In fact:

    2000-08-07 03:45:06 GPS Treasure Hunting and Degree Confluence Mapping (articles,news) (rejected)

    Oh well.
  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @03:07PM (#529908) Homepage
    too bad they aren't taking panoramic shots, then you could do node-based virtual tours of the planet's topography (topology?).

    But the distance between degree longitude at the equator is fairly huge (looking at my globe) compared with the poles. Either way, its a step in the right direction.

    I just hope people don't leave too many geocaches of garbage lying around in the woods.

  • Wow. People follow a little electronic device to an arbitrary point on the map. Thrilling.

  • by PD ( 9577 ) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Thursday January 04, 2001 @03:07PM (#529910) Homepage Journal
    Various combinations of mathematical constants!

    Let's all go photograph pi-N x e-W

    Or how about the combinations of the intersections of the prime numbers 180?

    Quick, somebody figure out what 6.02E23 mod 180 is and let's have a party where it intersects the prime meridian.

    We could do it Dungeons and Dragons style: anyone have a 180 sided die? The dungeon master will allow you to reroll anything that's in the ocean, unless you have a yacht.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.