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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ken Jennings’ “Maphead”

I’ve always been a map nerd, and at one point had scoured enough local gas stations to get highway maps of over 40 of the 50 states, no mean feat to accomplish from Louisville, Kentucky.

I’ve also been a fan of Ken Jennings stint on the game show “Jeopardy”, particularly his humorous comment as he lost to IBM’s Watson computer system, “I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords.”

So when I heard Ken had a new book on maps, and had been a map nerd himself, I figured the book was sure to be entertaining and contain a lot of map nerd trivia.

I’m only in chapter 2, and the book does not disappoint.

I didn’t know there was a category called “triple islands”, but that refers to an island on a lake on an an island in a lake on an island in some other body of  water.  The largest is in Victoria Island in Nunavut, although it’s an unnamed island on a frozen land mass.  Second largest is Vulcan Point, on Lake Taal in the Philippines.  

Below you can see the lat/lon mark pretty much covering the unnamed island, which is in a lake, on another island, which is in a lake, which is on Victoria Island in the Arctic Ocean

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You can’t see all of Victoria island here – if I zoom out that far you can’t see the small island. On the map below, you can see how large Victoria Island is – and how far north!  At the very bottom, I’ve indicated Bowen Park in Waukegan, IL, and a couple of other nearby parks in the Chicago area.image

Ah, but there’s more!

Weirton, WV is the only two in the U.S. that borders two different states on opposite sides.  West of the town is the Ohio River, and then Ohio.  East of the town is that vertical blue line that is the WV-Pennsylvania border.

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