Some Geography Trivia Fun: Degree Confluences

Visit The Degree Confluence Project for more details, but the quickie idea is:


Using links at the site I locate this Map of Tennessee and from it I locate this confluence nearest my home

Using similar techniques, there are several ways we could have some fun with this idea:

  1. share the one closest to us
  2. list the ones we have actually visited
  3. determine which Doper lives closest to one
  4. others you suggest.

One interesting thing I have learned is by way of the little compass in the upper left corner of my nearest spot where I used the compass directions to visit the next spot E and followed that trail all around the world. It’s amazing the surprises along the way. The other compass directions also yield some fun trivia.

Lemme know what you think of this, please.

Maybe we can invent a game or something.

Oh, thank you for sharing one of my favourite sites on the Internet (due to my extreme, and incurable, geography geekery)!

Sadly, still have yet to (consciously) visit a degree confluence. :frowning: (My goal is to visit one that isn’t on the site yet.)

Frabjous! I knew there had to be at least one other Doper who might help stir up some interest in this site.

What’s been your most fun thing with all those pictures and descriptions?

For me, as I suggested, it’s having built a pretty good “circle the world at my Latitude” path and being amazed at where that path gets into the Old World. South of Europe! The Going South trip jumps into water (the Gulf) soon and only hits land in Mexico and Honduras and then the next land is Antarctica.

Have you found a “confluence” (they should have chosen a word that didn’t sound like two or three rivers coming together) in the dead center of a city yet?

Going alphabetically down the list of US states the first picture I came on that is evidence of buildings nearby is at United States : Connecticut
3.8 miles (6.1 km) NNW of Woodstock, CT, USA
Approx. altitude: 153 m (501 ft)
42°N 72°W

One would be tempted to conclude that builders tend to avoid confluences. Bad mojo, or just coincidence?

This one is the second closest to me (Portland, OR), right on I-5. I’ve driven right through it countless times, but never knew it. That is, I’ve always seen the 45th Parallell sign, but I had no idea I was right on 123°W. You wouldn’t know it from looking at the pictures, but this confluence is located in the outskirts of Salem.

46 North, 80 West is the closest one to me.

Now I feel like an idiot! I didn’t think to look at the other confluences in Tennessee before starting the alphabetical states search. If I had I would have seen that

1.5 miles (2.4 km) S of I-55 exit 2 (Memphis), Shelby, TN, USA
Approx. altitude: 97 m (318 ft)
Antipode: 35°S 90°E
Accuracy: 8 m (26 ft)

was definitely a city photo. Oh, well.

Now, something to challenge the viewer to the thread:

  1. Locate the confluence with the highest altitude, the lowest, the nearest sea level for a land location – these may have already been listed at the parent site

  2. find the antipodes that both occur on dry land

  3. locate Opal’s nearest confluence

40 North and 83 West is the closest to where I live. It’s in a fairly densely populated part of the city of Columbus, about three blocks east of the Ohio State University campus. Apparently the exact point is in someone’s back yard. If you want get there from the centre of Columbus, catch a number 4 bus north to the corner of 15th Avenue and 4th Street, and walk about half a block west from there.

Right here, although it could be the one just north of there as I don’t know her exact address.

This is the closest to me. And only a couple of miles up the road from work.

Great work, people! I guess I’m going to have to modify my bias away from rural settings for the confluences!

Hi, Opal!

Anybody have some other item we could all be hunting for?

I think it’s going to be fun when two Dopers realize they share the same Latitude or Longitude but are not near the same confluence.

Also, does anybody have a problem with that statement in the OP that

According to this article

I take the OP statement to mean that you’d have to be in the center of a square formed by four confluences so that you’d be at the maximum distance from any one of them. That make sense?

The 720 locations on the earth’s surface that are furthest from a confluence are (approximately) at 0.5 degrees north or south, and at an integer plus 0.5 degrees east or west, e.g., 3.5 degrees east or west. It’s approximate, because in each case the four nearest confluences don’t form an exact square, but it’s pretty close.

Thanks. Pretty much how I had guessed it must be.

Other visits have it in the house proper. That makes this the coolest confluence on earth in my opinion. I’d love to live in “the confluence house” but, despite the house seemingly being used for student housing, I bet none of the residents, past, present, or future, know or care about the confluence and what makes their house special.

The 42-88 confluence, nearest my house, is pictured on the site. It’s located on an ordinary residential street in Elk Grove, a suburb of Chicago, and very easy to visit.

I once visited the 41-88 confluence, just to see what was there. The answer was nothing but a fallow farm field. That cured me of the desire to visit any more confluences.

Amazing! About the only thing I can think of that could come close to topping this one would be one in a house (or other building) on a state or country boundary!

In case y’all haven’t looked at Tennessee notice the one missing confluence and how it shows up as an Alabama one.

Finding those confluences on (or very near) borders could be another search challenge.

Dang, I was going to post the Columbus, one, too, having grown up there. What became Broad Street, the original primary east-west road through town, was once part of the National Road envisioned by George Washington and authorized by Thomas Jefferson, designed to closely follow the 40th parallel. With probably at least 15-20 miles’ worth of development extending north to south, I was guessing before I even clicked on the 40N 83W link that there were decent odds that 83W would pass through a heavily developed area.

If the antipodes issue is intriguing to you, check out Antipodes - both visited

I have a little list, based on the responses so far, where the coordinates were specified, that we can use to find Dopers who share a latitude or a longitude. Please help me validate what I have:

Zeldar ---------------- 36N 87W
GESancMan --------- 45N 123W
KennerTheGreat — 46N 80W
Giles ------------------ 40N 83 W
Opal ------------------ 42N 71W
Edward The Head - 39N 77W
dhkendall ----------- ???
Freddy the Pig ----- 42N 88W
Haunted Pasta ---- ???

I can do you one better, a house/apartment/duplex straddling the Canada-US border. Apparently that town (well, technically towns, one on each side of the border) is full of buildings that straddle the line.

To answer some of your previous questions: why I’m interested in the DCP project? It’s mainly my geography geekery, and that I really can’t explain why. It just fascinates me to no end. I have the same fascination with borders (I am on a yahoo group filled with other border enthusiasts too, which is where I learned of the above picture. I also have a few border related and similar pictures on my Flickr stream

And the nearest confluence to me? 50N 97W. Been very near it many times, but never at it.

Is that also at a confluence? That’s what I meant about going one better: a confluence that is in a building that is straddling a border.

Thanks. Here’s an update:

Zeldar ---------------- 36N 87W
GESancMan ------------- 45N 123W
KennerTheGreat -------- 46N 80W
Giles ----------------- 40N 83W
Opal ------------------ 42N 71W
Edward The Head ------- 39N 77W
dhkendall ------------- 50N 97W
Freddy the Pig -------- 42N 88W
Haunted Pasta --------- ??? 

I believe I have located the highest confluence. The text at 33°N 80°E
11.6 km (7.2 miles) SSW of Küba, Xizang (Tibet), China
Approx. altitude: 5826 m (19113 ft)
Antipode: 33°S 100°W
Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)


After visiting the maps and pictures for the Southeastern states I’m finding hardly any that are said to be “right on” the border even though they are very close to it in appearance on the map and you’d think the maps of borders that close would be right on the latitude or longitude line. Are old surveying methods obsoleted by GPS?

I live within a couple of blocks of Baseline road, which is the 40th parallel, and was the dividing line between the Nebraska territory and the Kansas territory before Colorado became a state. The nearest confluence is east of me by about ten miles or so.

It intersects 105 West about a mile or so east of Interstate 25, just east of the town of Erie, in an alfalfa field. It is just about one mile above sea level.

40N, 105W