11 Geographic Markers That Are Totally Inaccurate

by Tammy Levent

GPS mapping and satellite imaging have proved a boon to our modern age. We can pinpoint locations within inches and do so from any point on the globe. But with this fabulous accuracy, geographic charting mistakes are being caught and in many cases, corrected. Take the zero-degree latitude marker, for example. Once mapped in 1936 in Ecuador and marked with a monument, updated GPS coordinates indicate it lies almost 800 feet north. Several very famous monuments placed in times when mapping was done by hand are now being corrected including the center of a multitude of nations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Throughout the globe, monuments and signs are installed to define geographically significant locations. Only surprisingly often, these markers are in the wrong spot.
  • The constant shift and movement of the land, along with administrative changes like labeling new regions or redrawing borders can send calculations tumbling.
  • Satellite-aided and computerized mapping systems offer an increasingly precise way to chart the globe.

“Standing a mere two miles north from the city of Pontianak is a monument constructed to represent the otherwise conceptual equator.”


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