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April 21, 2016 AT 11:33 am

From the Coast, Here’s What You’re Actually Looking at Across the Oceans

The earth is an orb, and the shorelines from one continent to another are not square. As such, when you’re looking out at sea you’re not looking directly across the longitude or latitude lines of a globe, but rather around the sphere of the earth. So for instance here in New York City when you look out at parts of the Atlantic Ocean from the Rockaways or Coney Island, you’re in all likelihood ‘looking at’ Australia.

For instance in this first image all the highlighted points on all the other continents are actually spherically pointed towards Australia & Oceania:

australia

coast_points

sea-800

The latitude maps got me interested in answering the question more strictly: standing on a given point and facing perpendicular to the coast, if you went straight ahead, never turning, where would you end up? There are two reasons why following a line of latitude won’t answer the question.

Read more at Andy Woodruff’s blog.


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