Stuck in the middle with everyone
December 1, 2005 7:45 PM   Subscribe

In Europe, it's debated whether it's Suchowola Poland, the village of Krahule near Kremnica Slovakia, Dilove in western Ukraine, or Bernotai Lithuania. In Asia, there are more disputes, but Kyzyl put up an obelisk and stages tours. Various places claim that the Central African Republic is at the geographical centre of Africa, but that seems more likely based on looking at a map than measuring anything. On January 9 1956, Admiral Byrd flew over the geographical center of Antarctica. Alice Springs is pretty close to the centre of Australia. The center of North America is at latitude 48°21'19" north, longitude 99°59' 57" west in Rugby North Dakota. South America's center is officially Chapada dos Guimaraes in Cuiaba Brazil.
posted by Kickstart70 (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't forget Felicity, Ca. It's the Center of the World, you know.
posted by mds35 at 7:56 PM on December 1, 2005

That's nothing. I've been to the centre of the universe. :)
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:04 PM on December 1, 2005

I don't understand where the debate comes from. Isn't there a fairly straightforward mathematical way of figuring this out? It's possible to calculate the centroid of an irregularly-shaped lamina, so shouldn't this be analogous? (Beats me how to do it, but I definitely remember this from some calculus class. Lagrange multipliers or something.)

Is it because the boundaries of Asia and Europe aren't sufficiently well-defined? But that shouldn't be a problem for Africa.
posted by alsorises at 8:07 PM on December 1, 2005

Lebanon, Kansas also claims to the the geographic enter of the lower 48 while Osborne, Kansas claims to be the geodetic center.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:27 PM on December 1, 2005

er, make that Osbourne.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:28 PM on December 1, 2005

You could have done a bit better for the centre of Australia.
posted by wilful at 10:25 PM on December 1, 2005

wilful: Alice Springs is closer to 4 of those than any other town, and I was, where possible, shooting for a 'close enough' approach.

FWIW, getting these for each of the 7 continents was not an easy task. I spent > half an hour on this post.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:55 PM on December 1, 2005

posted by rob511 at 2:48 AM on December 2, 2005

From the Australian link above:

"Officially, there is no centre of Australia. This is because there are many complex but equally valid methods that can determine possible centres of a large, irregularly-shaped area - especially one that is curved by the earth's surface."

The various methods explained simply.

Some more interesting information at the Centre for Land Use Interpretation (including their fascinating newsletter)
posted by patricio at 3:25 AM on December 2, 2005

From the Bernotai link:

A reserve for the European Geographical Centre was arranged in 1992.

A reserve? So evil poachers won't sneak in and slaugter it for its hide and horns?
posted by languagehat at 5:56 AM on December 2, 2005

It's been proven beyond a doubt that I live in the exact geographic center of the surrounding area. I have a bronze plaque and everything.
posted by Floydd at 7:14 AM on December 2, 2005

« Older Are we making Iraq into the country we wanted to...   |   Qlam Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments