Why THIS Spot?

On November 4, 2010 · 3 Comments

What does this mean to you?

n 45°55.145′ w 090°05.011′

That’s what the query said when I spotted it in my blog access logs. What an oddly precise item to drop into a search engine. The visitor came to the Twelve Mile Circle by following a Google link, which was one of only five in existence. You know it’s obscure when Google says there isn’t even a full page of choices available.

The majority of those Google recommendations all pointed to the same phenomenon, the famous 45X90 spot in central Wisconsin. Google apparently truncated the request to 45° N and 90° W when it presented its results to my mystery visitor.

Naturally I had to check +45°55.145′ -090°05.011′ and see what it returned. It was important to somebody. Something of interest should be located there.

View Larger Map

That wasn’t much help. It’s located near a curve on Shady Knoll Road in Park Falls, WI near a boat ramp for Round Lake. The most noteworthy item of significance in this vicinity is the Round Lake Logging Dam which dates to 1878 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Logging Dam Road can be seen on the northern edge of this image. That’s interesting, I suppose, but is it worthy of someone checking the lat/long coordinate on the Intertubes?

Perhaps switching to Street View will offer a clue.

View Larger Map

Nope. It looks like a million other rural spots. This one is part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest which, oddly enough, is actually two independent National Forests that happen to be managed as a single unit. Specifically it falls within the Chequamegon portion in the Medford-Park Falls block, known as the Riley Lake Wildlife Management Area.

I have to admit that I have absolutely no idea why the person searched on this specific spot. Is it some kind of Internet treasure map? I wouldn’t believe that modern-day pirates might resort to quill pen and vellum but maybe they’d leave digital breadcrumbs instead? My imagination took hold and I wanted to take a backhoe to that stretch of road to find the treasure chest that’s obviously hidden there.

Then my rational mind kicked-in. The person probably thought they were using Google Maps rather than Google and it was probably a simple mistake. Given the obviousness of the error though, then why did they click on one of the links? Treasure, perhaps?


On November 4, 2010 · 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Why THIS Spot?”

  1. David says:

    An interesting linguistics note (probably for another blog type altogether) regarding the pronunciation of “Nicolet.”
    In Wisconsin, they pronounce it like the French, soft (no) ‘tee’ sound. Nico-lay.
    In Minnesota, they pronounce it much more anglican, hard (American) ‘tee’ sound. Nico-let.
    Just sharing.
    Thanks for the great blog!

  2. Jim says:

    There appears to be a Geocache nearby:

    It’s not the exact spot though, so that might not be a clue at all.

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