Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Your attitude determines your lattitude

Well, that's how that saying goes ("How you act determines how much you're allowed to do".)

In this case, though, it's just a catchy tie-in for today's nautically-inspired post: Navigation.
 You see, when you're out on the High Seas, (or the middle of the desert, even), To get from "Point A" to "Point B", you need to know 2 things: Where *you* are, and where your target location is. GPS, nowadays, is the "Quest Helper" of navigation. But what if we didn't have satellites in orbit, to triangulate our position? Well, that's where good old "Celestial Navigation" kicks in. How do you think Balder Goldenpaws gets from place to place? Using the Sun, Moon, Stars, and planets, a trained person can "do the math" to figure out where, on Earth, They are. Since it takes special tools to do it, (like a sextant, and special conversion charts), we're not going to cover it. And, honestly,  that's more than I can reasonably cover, without putting you to sleep (Yay! Math! Zzzzzzz).

So, I figured we could look at "Longitudes" and "Latitudes", and maybe have a bit of fun with it.

Well, we all know this is the Earth, in "Mercator" format:

Mercator style map. Most common map type.

Okay, notice the little "grid boxes"? That's the basis for latitude (North/South) and longitude(East/West).
Latitudes (parallels) are based on the Equator (0), and goes positive (North), or negative (South)
Longitude 0 ('Prime' Meridian) passes through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, in England and goes positive (East), or negative (West)
Each "grid box" can be further broken down into "minutes" and "seconds". so, a typical LAT or LON will be given as DD MM SS (Degrees, Minutes, Seconds)

Positions can also be given in a decimal format, as well.
If I were to tell you that 33.038275,-96.831356 "has a lot in store for us", would you believe that's the LAT/LON for KingsIsle's Plano, TX headquarters? True Fact! 

Yep, that KI's Parking lot. 

Yeah, gotta love Google Maps.Great resource for looking up map positions.

Pop Quiz: This place :( 32° 19' 59" N / 64° 45' 0" W ) is a place  famous for a particular piece of clothing. What is the name of this location? (thanks to Kevin Battleblood for pointing out how easy the original hint was)
Note: All comments are being held back for a few hours, but *will* be posted. I'm appreciative of the intelligence within our community, you Wizards rock!


Kevin BattleBlood said...

I'm gonna launch a grenade here...

Bermuda Triangle?

AutumnalDusk said...

And yes, I'm moderating comments, so raw guesses, and copying answers isn't gonna happen. ;P

Kestrel Shadowthistle said...

It's the bermuda triangle!!! I hope there's a really hard instance in Celestia called that.

M.W.S said...

LOL... Nice...

shadowfist said...