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October 12, 2006

The Confluence Project

photo of confluence point at 48N 108W (Culbertson, MT)

There are two types of adventure exploration. The first is the "I wonder what the hell is out there?" variety. The Vikings fell into that category. So did Ferdinand Magellan and David Livingstone. The second type can be described as the "I'm going to set myself some arbitrary goal and then accomplish it!" school of exploration. Heroes in that second, equally honorable, school include Edmund Hillary, sailor Tristan Jones (a personal hero of mine, who once decided to set the record for sailing closer to the North Pole than any other ship had ever done. What happened to him is quite a story), and Admiral Perry.

The Confluence Project mixes both of those motives. The Project's goal is to obtain photographs of every spot on earth where a degree of longitude and a degree of latitude cross. Technically, there are 64,442 of those points around the globe. Most of them are spots on one of the world's oceans...the Project is ignoring those, as well as the several hundred that are all scrunched up together near the North and South poles. But there are more than 16,000 points on land around the world, and the Confluence Project folks want to bag photos of them all!

So far, they've snagged photographs of nearly 5,000 confluence points. As you would expect, the easy ones (such as just about all of the points in the lower 48 states) have all been done, but it's a BIG world, and huge swatches of Asia, Africa, and South America are wide open. Grab a camera and your passport and head out!

If you're a bit more timid, you can waste many hours looking through the images on the Confluence Project's website.

(The photo above is of the confluence point at 48 degrees North latitude, 108 degrees West longitude, near Culbertson, MT)

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at October 12, 2006 08:28 AM