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Confluence August 4, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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confluence   If someone offers a suitably challenging project and the means with which to create a network of like-minded people, that group can do remarkable things.

Yesterday, we watched a film called Ladies in Lavender, which was set in the southernmost part of England. Unable to restrain myself, I visited Google Earth to see if I could find some of the locations mentioned in the movie. Off the coast of Cornwall, well into the English Channel, was a reference point that was not near any piece of land. Further investigation revealed a loosely formed organization of like-minded people determined to photograph arbitrarily assigned places on the planet.

What is known as a confluence is what I saw off the coast of Cornwall. 45 degrees North by 5 degrees West was simply a point in the water marked by strong tidal currents and, on the day the photos were taken, rough weather. The participants captured images of the area, of themselves, and of their GPS device (as proof). They then had to write a two paragraph minimum narrative of their experience.

There is a confluence of map lines (whole numbers only) south of where I live about ten miles. There isn’t much to see there. In fact, many of the confluence points I dropped in on were beautiful in their isolation and simple beauty. I saw a farmhouse in southern Ontario, a small stretch of forest in Wisconsin, a rocky shoal off an inlet, and the side of a mountain in Mexico.

To find out more, begin with the Degree Confluence Project then look up confluence points near your home. You will find most of them have been charted. There is still a great deal of the earth to document. In addition, many will gladly share in your mad quest.

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