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East of the South Pole



If you stand at the South Pole and walk in any direction, you'd be walking north, wouldn't you? So how do people in Antarctica read a map or give directions? Minnesotastan looked it up, and the answer is: they throw out the directions from the globe and make up a system. The continent is labeled with "East Antarctica" and "West Antarctica" in this map, but of course you must go south to get to either. There are actually two conventions for mapping the continent, as you'll read in this post at TYWKIWDBI. Link

One thing to correct:
"The continent is labeled with “East Antarctica” and “West Antarctica” in this map, but of course you must go south to get to either."

but of course you must go NORTH to get to either.

Nice post. I think I have some friends that do the same, only locally.
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Unless one is at 90S you still have East and West, as well as North and South. If one is on the Nome Ice Shelf you would head East to "East Antarctica". Though pointing would be the best way to tell somebody how to get there.

Personally if I had south I would end up between East and West Antarctica, but once I stopped heading south I would then head north to either.
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Maps are entirely arbitrary and relative models supervening on real geography. East and West, North and South are completely made-up phenomena that do not exist in reality. It's no surprise that it has problems. But humans become so attached to their ideas and models that it is hard for them to separate fact from fiction in cases like this. The four directions are fictitious contrivances of humanity.

The Nature of Existence Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrkqC-xlf-Q&feature=channel_video_title
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If we really wanted to improve the mapping systems, we should throw away 2d maps in favor of globe based maps, leaving the 'cardinal directions' as the relative statements they are. We would still have to content with having static points of reference from which to derive coordinates, but it would make 2d projections a lot more accurate. All this being via a computer, of course.
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@Cluck - I know what you're saying. Like me, you probably read it as "you must go south to get to either (from the South Pole.)"

I think what the writer meant, however, was "you must go south to get to either (from the other one.)"
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When I was younger I thought it would be cool if you could stand on either the north or south axis of the earth and spin around and around. Then I realized it would take 24 hours for one turn. Bubble burst.
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