A bean field in rural Bath, North Carolina.
- Dvdllr's sister and brother-in-law
I'll let my email to my sister speak for itself, dated 2010-09-07.
Hi [sister's name],
I hope your hurricane [] didn't bother you too much.
I can't remember if you've ever heard about my "Geohashing" hobby, but if you know anything about "geocaching", it's kind of like that. The game is to receive a set of latitude/longitude coordinates and see if you can get there before the end of the day, since there are new coordinates every day. There is a different set of coordinates for each set of latitude and longitude integers, so I usually just play the game near Peoria. However, the system also generates one set of coordinates for the entire world - think of it like throwing a dart at a spinning globe and seeing where it lands. As you'd expect, seven-tenths of the time, it's in water, and most of the rest of the time, it's 5,000 miles away in Russia or Antarctica or somewhere (for example, today's is in Algeria). In the years I've been doing this, this "global geohash" hasn't been anywhere close to me. However, I checked where it is tomorrow (they're always published one day in advance), and it is in your very own neck of the woods - less than 2.5 miles from your very house. I estimate the odds of this to be 1 in 49 million (i.e. it probably won't happen again for another 134,000 years)
May I encourage you to visit this link and look where it is in relation to you, and if you would be able to reach it? It appears to be within a crop field. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:(35.500106,-76.791475)
Reaching the global geohash would be something special. Only twice has anyone in the world ever done so: the first one included people driving over two-hundred miles to South Carolina from Atlanta, and the second one included people from Canada chartering a helicopter to reach a mountaintop in Idaho.
There are awards to be earned in this game for reaching a geohash spot, such as reaching a location by bike or if it's on a golf course or if you're the first person to succeed in a particular area - and of course more prestigous awards for more extreme circumstances (such as the global geohash). I obviously can't visit tomorrow's global geohash myself, though I can claim some level of achievement for getting someone else to reach it (there is a particular ribbon for this). If you were able to reach this place for me, that would really be amazing. The coordinates are N 35.50011, W 76.79148. Ideally you'd use a GPS for accuracy's sake. Maybe [sister's husband's name] even knows who own the property!
If you don't think this is possible that's OK too. But let me know if you can do this, and take pictures to prove it. I'll put them on the website and you can bask in the prestige.
I had no expectations that this would actually happen. Then without announcement, pictures arrived in my inbox.
As I indicated, the globalhash was in a field that was just a short distance from the town of Bath, so my sister and her husband made the quick trip that evening to see what it would look like. They found a bean field. It was my own failure to explain the need for a photo of proof of coordinates, but in the end it didn't matter since they weren't able to make it all the way to the point proper. But I commend them for their effort to do a bizarre request at short notice, and my bro-in-law has even expressed interest in doing it again. Probably not a globalhash again, but I will certainly direct him to the Belhaven graticule.