I’d like to share a favorite website and one of the most interesting Internet-based geography challenges ever undertaken, the Degree Confluence Project. Its mission statement provides the most succinct description:
The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location.
I’ve been to one integer confluence. Last summer I dragged the family to the 45X90 spot that can be found at exactly 45.00 degrees north and 90.00 degrees west, halfway between the equator and the north pole and halfway across the western hemisphere. Granted, it’s a very special confluence, but you get the idea. The Project would consider any point upon the earth where both the longitude and latitude equal an integer as a worthy candidate to record for posterity.
The website notes that there are 64,442 confluences of which 21,543 are on land. Some of the visits are amazing. Imagine the site in Switzerland where the first underwater visit took place or the incredible journey one trekker took to find the "other" 45X90 spot in Xinjiang, China.
Many other spots are readily accessible and anyone can participate, for example, an easily-approachable spot outside a suburban apartment building in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Part geography lesson, part travelogue, part adventure tale, each vignette tells its own imaginative story. You can get lost inside this website for hours. There’s no guessing what might sit at a confluence until someone goes and finds out. Get outdoors this summer and explore one!