I was looking at the Latitude / Longitude coordinates of my residence a few days ago and I decided to keep the same coordinates but switch between North and South, East and West. An easy way to do this is to drop the coordinates in Google Maps and then change between positives and negatives. There are four possibilities for each numerical coordinate.
As an example, my home has the same numerical longitude and latitude as this nice little farm in western China, but my longitude is a negative value (west) from the prime meridian rather than a positive value (east). The other two values puts one in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific respectively, which isn’t nearly as interesting as a land-based result like the little farm.
That got me thinking about the various possibilities. Could I find coordinates that return one, two, three and four land-based results?
The United Kingdom is great for finding single landings. Its numerical equivalents in the southern hemisphere fall directly in the middle of the South Atlantic. Also, double landings are really boring in the UK. The prime meridian runs through Greenwich. Flip the sign on the longitude and its going to land on a spot only a few miles away from the starting point. Yawn.
Here’s a single point of land, centering on Edinburgh, Scotland.
- 55.949328,3.187523 = water
- 55.949328,-3.187523 = Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
- -55.949328,3.187523 = water
- -55.949328,-3.187523 = water
Let’s go for a double. I noticed in my sampling that lots of places in the United States share coordinates with places in China. Here’s a great example using Wichita, Kansas as the starting point.
- 37.685269,97.31163 = Delhi, Haixi, Qinghai, China
- 37.685269,-97.31163 = Wichita, Kansas, USA
- -37.685269,97.31163 = water
- -37.685269,-97.31163 = water
It’s a little more difficult to find a triple, but there are still plenty of instances. This one uses São Paulo, Brazil as its beginning.
- 23.555595,46.631928 = near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- 23.555595,-46.631928 = water
- -23.555595,46.631928 = Southern Madagascar
- -23.555595,-46.631928 = São Paulo, Brazil
Finding all four points on land is downright tough. I finally did discover one but I had to cheat a little by starting from at obscure island.
- 49.348985,69.342041 = Central Kazakhstan
- 49.348985,-69.342041 = Québec, Canada
- -49.348985,69.342041 = Grande Terre, French Southern and Antarctic Lands
- -49.348985,-69.342041 = Southern Argentina
I don’t think there are four quadruples where the land-based points are all located on continents but I could be wrong.
One thing I learned from this exercise is, that in spite of the great population of this planet, it’s hard to flip the coordinates and jump to more than one major city. I would start with a city and invariably find myself in the middle of an ocean or in a remote desert or mountaintop.
Did you find anything interesting by flipping your latitude and longitude?