Null Island

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Null Island
Null Island 2017.jpg
The weather buoy moored at the coordinates of Null Island
Null Island is located in Africa
Null Island
Null Island
Geography
Coordinates 0°N 0°E / 0°N 0°E / 0; 0Coordinates: 0°N 0°E / 0°N 0°E / 0; 0
Additional information
This fictional island is a cartographical convenience only

Null Island is a fictional island in the Gulf of Guinea added to the Natural Earth public domain map dataset,[1] located where the equator crosses the prime meridian, at coordinates 0°N 0°E / 0°N 0°E / 0; 0.[2][3][4] Natural Earth describes the entity as a "1 meter square island" with "scale rank 100, indicating it should never be shown in mapping."[1] The name 'Null' refers to the two 0 co-ordinates, both of which are sometimes known as null in mathematics.

The concept and name for Null Island were developed in 2011 or slightly earlier. Since then, numerous web pages have documented this fictional landmass's flag, geography, and history.[5]

Other uses of the coordinates[edit]

The location is used by mapping systems to trap errors.[3] Such errors arise, for example, where an image artifact is erroneously associated to the location by software which cannot attribute a geo-position, and instead associates a latitude and longitude of "Null,Null" or "0,0".[6]

Other data mapped to the location include activity events from the Strava fitness-tracking app, apparently (as reported in January 2018 by Bellingcat) mapped to the location due to users entering "0,0" coordinates to disguise their real location.[7]

In reality, a weather observation buoy, part of the PIRATA system, is moored near 0,0.[8] The depth at this place is around 4,940 metres (16,210 ft).[9]

See also[edit]

  • Colonel Bleep, a 1957 cartoon that took place on the fictitious Zero Zero Island, at the same location as Null Island, where earth's equator meets the Greenwich Meridian.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kurgan, Laura (2013). Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology and Politics. New York: Zone Books. p. 157. ISBN 9781935408284. 
  2. ^ "Null Island". Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Natural Earth version 1.3 release notes". 2011-01-31. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Hotz, Robert Lee (14 July 2016). "If You Can't Follow Directions, You'll End Up on Null Island". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 13 July 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  5. ^ St. Onge, Tim. "The Geographical Oddity of Null Island". Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Null Island is One of the Most Visited Places on Earth. Too Bad It Doesn't Exist". Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  7. ^ Aric, Toler (29 January 2018). "How to Use and Interpret Data from Strava's Activity Map - bellingcat". Bellingcat. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  8. ^ "Station 13010 - Soul". National Data Buoy Center. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Bathymetric Data Viewer". National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.