Flipping Lat/Long Directions

On June 15, 2010 · 6 Comments

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.

Flipping Lat/Long Coordinates

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

On June 15, 2010 · 6 Comments

6 Responses to “Flipping Lat/Long Directions”

  1. David says:

    My home in San Diego brings me to water, SW Australia, and China. Trying random points in Somalia brings me tantalizingly close to having 4 continental land points, but alas, they all barely miss South America.

  2. Matthias says:

    My home in Alsace, France, brings me twice in the South Atlantic (actually, kind of between South Atlantic Ocean and Southern Ocean) and once in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of France.

  3. EastBayAnt says:

    My home in Alameda, CA takes me to the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, right in the middle of the Yellow Sea between the Koreas and China, and off the southern coast of Western Australia. All water!

  4. Lincoln Ho says:

    I get one near Lake Baikal on land (BTW, the lake is deeper than the Indian Ocean), then the rest for Edmonton, AB Canada goes to the ocean.

  5. Michael says:

    Wow! I found a very cool one. I live in southern Rhode Island, and when I flipped my longitude, I landed in a field in northeastern Uzbekistan…but just a few hundred feet away from Kyrgyzstan!! Seriously, the house 2 doors down from mine lands in Kyrgyzstan when flipped. And the area of Uzbekistan I land in is surrounded on three sides by Kyrgyzstan and is barely connected to Uzbekistan. Very interesting!!

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