Closer Than…

On September 23, 2010 · 4 Comments

There’s no overt or even covert intellectual discussion on the Twelve Mile Circle today. In fact I won’t blame you at all if you choose to skip the post today and come back on the weekend. I might do the same if it wasn’t already too late.

I’m back to drawing lines again. I got fixated on various shapes in South America and eventually this resulted from my various fiddlings with the map:

View Closer than… in a larger map

So what do we have here? Google Maps graffiti? A few mildly interesting observations, perhaps?

  • The blue line. Start in Natal, Brazil and travel west to the other side of the nation, a total of 2,600 miles by air. That’s an impressive distance without ever leaving Brazil. Travel northeast from the same spot, however and Natal is closer to many places in Africa including the nations of Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana.
  • The red line. Measure the length of Chile. It comes out to about 2,500 miles. The northern tip of Chile is closer to places in El Salvador and Honduras, than it is to places in its far south.
  • The green line. There are places in Bolivia that are closer to Miami than Miami is to Seattle! That’s a stretch of about 2,700 miles.

This would have been a much more entertaining exercise if Google would only add a circle tool to its maps program. I won’t hold my breath, though. I keep asking for county line markers to no avail.

That is all.

Totally Unrelated. Has everyone seen the article on Devils Lake, the endorheic basin that’s eating North Dakota?

On September 23, 2010 · 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Closer Than…”

  1. David Overton says:


    That’s actually quite a fun exercise. I did something similar for my home town of Melbourne, Australia. The farthest town from Melbourne on the Australian mainland is Exmouth, WA which is 3438km from the centre of Melbourne. Places that are closer to Melbourne include: all of New Zealand and New Caledonia; most of Vanuatu; parts of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands; and even part of Antarctica. That last one surprised me the most. Thanks to the projection that Google maps uses, the line to Antarctica looks much longer. You can see the Google map I created at,146.953125&spn=84.078406,158.027344&z=3&msid=116632213654067253782.000490f5dea7cc6893691

    View Distances from Melbourne in a larger map

    Anyway, thanks for the idea. I really enjoy reading your blog.


    • I just did a quick comparison from my home on the east coast of the U.S.:

      Southern Alaska or western UK. Hawaiian Islands or Moscow. San Francisco, California or Georgetown, Guyana (or the Azores Islands or southern Greenland)

  2. Guy says:

    A good tool you can use for these kinds of things is Sometimes you get astonishing results!

  3. Lincoln Ho says:

    It’s like Western Canada. Edmonton is closer to Mexico than eastern Canada. No wonder why whenever Quebec wants to separate, Western Canada talks about the same thing.

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