Latitude Longitude Sequences

I was looking for geo-oddities — so many of my articles start off that same way — when I spotted something unusual. This was just prior to my recent trip to Washington and Oregon while I was working on my travel agenda. I’d been contemplating the addition of a quick loop to Newport on the Pacific Ocean coastline. Ultimately I discarded the idea because it would take too long for a single day-trip from our base in Bend. It would have taken 7 hours altogether and my family would have burned me at the stake.

More to the point, this is what I spotted and marked:

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The checkerboard pattern of the Corvalis Watershed Wild Animal Refuge is what drew my attention. Ultimately it proved to be a Google Maps error so I discarded it. However I noticed something equally interesting at that moment, the lat/long coordinates of the marker I’d placed as I conducted further research: 44.60182°,-123.45°. OK, the latitude was boring. It was the longitude that fascinating me. It formed a sequence. 12345.

Maybe I could find some examples where both the latitude and longitude formed a complete sequence in order, using all ten digits. Most of the attempts fell somewhere within the vast oceans although a few hit dry land. Theoretically, someone could visit them with enough effort and determination.

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I think my favorite is -12.345°, -67.890°. This is found in the Manuripi Heath National Amazon Reserve (Reserva Nacional Amazónica Manuripi Heath) in the northwestern corner of Bolivia. This would be a great place to visit if you’re a birder. Timing would need to be taken into consideration as the website explains (in translation) that "Access to this area is very difficult, especially during the rainy season."

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Reversing the order, another example hits dry land only a few hundred kilometres away at -09.876°,-54.321°. This appears to be about 50 km east of Guaranta do Norte in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. The spot falls in the middle of nowhere although maybe not quite as far into the middle of nowhere as the one in Bolivia. A determined explorer should be able to mount an expedition from Guaranta do Norte and bag this sequential lat/long spot.

Those are the best. Let’s see if I can finagle a sequence to fall somewhere within the United States.

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I shifted the sequence to 34.567°,-89.012°. This should feasible for just about anyone in the vicinity of Blue Mountain, Mississippi to visit. It falls within a small forested area behind a church on County Road 81.

It took some doing to find an example in the UK but I uncovered one there as well.

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It’s not the best example, in fact its rather tortured although it does follow the rules: 56.789012°,-3.4°. Street View almost captures the location. It should be in the distant background of this image taken from Old Military Road near Blairgowrie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

I haven’t forgotten about Canadian readers either.

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A decent example can be found outside of Graham-Laurier Provincial Park in British Columbia at 56.7890°, -123.4°. Go into the actual map and you’ll see a couple of photographs taken within extremely close proximity, perhaps less than a kilometre away. They identify this area as a valley of Cypress Creek. I can’t imbed the photo images within 12MC because the author has reserved all rights to them, which is certainly his prerogative, and I don’t have time to seek permission. However if you are interested you can follow these direct links and view their respective pages: CYPRESS CREEK MOUNTAINS and CYPRESS CREEK MOUNTAINS 2.

Feel free to post your favorite latitude/longitude sequences — either in order or in reverse order — in the comments.

4 Replies to “Latitude Longitude Sequences”

  1. When I look at that section of the map on Google Earth, I see some pretty distinct checkerboarding. It’s not complete, but the hallmarks are there. Look at 44.486, -123.68. Those are definitely straight lines cut into the forest. That pattern repeats pretty consistently throughout the region, I definitely think you’re looking at a Checkerboard forest.

  2. Sorry if that’s off-topic 🙂 but a summer camp I spent about two weeks in this summer was within a mile of 53°53’N, 35°35’E.
    Alas, as much as I could tell on Google Earth, the actual coords were 53°53’50″N and 35°34’50″E – give or take a few seconds – so not even proper rounding could help 🙂

  3. I do a lot of GIS work in the Western US and see the kind of checkerboarding pattern you saw all the time. Until you wrote this blog, I never thought to look up the origin of this. According to Wikipedia, it is an artifact of the era of railroad expansion, particularly in the western US.

    Enjoy this tidbit:

  4. I thought I would also leave you with one of my favorite geo-oddities; the Arizona Strip:

    Maybe you have heard of it. I think it is a geo-oddity that has created a cultural shift in the residents. Since they are disconnected from the main body of their governing state, they have much more freedom to do what they want and live how they please. It is the location of one of the most prominent polygamist sects in the US and was featured in Jonh Krakhauer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven”.

    Regardless of politics or belief, it is an interesting oddity to me since it seems that the geography is what created the opportunity for its community to develop much less inhibited than most.

    My $0.02.


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