Years ago most schoolchildren in the US "knew" that if you dig a hole straight down through the earth you end-up in China. But of course that's not true, no matter where you are in the US. From nearly anywhere in the contiguous 48 states you end-up in the Indian Ocean. How can you see this? Using mashups built on the Google Maps API of course. And not only is there one mashup that lets you interactively find the opposite point of any place on the earth , there are now three. Each has a slightly different take.
- The first and most original implementation was Dig to the Other Side, created last year by Brazilian grad student Luis Felipe Cipriani. Click on the map, it gives you marker, click "Dig Here", and you get a new marker on the opposite side of the world.
- Then, there's If I dig straight down, a more recent derivative variation. This model uses two maps, one above the other. Drag one and the other moves with it.
- And last but not least, there's the Ze Frank version created as part of his fun If the Earth were a Sandwich project earlier this year. He challenged his audience to place a piece of bread on the ground, have someone else place one on the opposite side of the Earth, and document it. For more background see this NPR story from Robert Krulwich, or, to here for the Ze Frank video. This one uses a side-by-side layout.
There are currently 29 mashups on ProgrammableWeb tagged with 'science', click here to see the them all.