Thursday, April 23, 2009

Four Corners Marker 2.5 Miles Off

My dad alerted me to this disturbing piece of information. From the Associated Press:

News reports this week that the site of the Four Corners monument was off by a whopping 2 1/2 miles drummed up some concern that anyone who ever got down on their hands and knees to touch four states at once had lived a bit of a lie.

Don't lie to me, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. During two vacations (one in 1984 and one in 2001) I have taken detours into the middle of nowhere for the opportunity to be in four states at once. I would hate for those trips to have been taken in vain. (Well, not entirely in vain. I still have a Navajo sand painting from the second of these trips.) So what's going on?

The marker is 1,807.14 feet east of where it should have been placed, said Dave Doyle, chief geodetic surveyor for the National Geodetic Survey, which defines and manages a national coordinate system. That's about the length of six football fields, but Doyle calls the measurement a "home run" given the limited tools surveyors had to work with back then.

So have the millions of Four Corners visitors who have strained their muscles for the chance to have one limb in each of four states been lied to? No:

Not to worry, government officials say. The marker is indeed the only place where four U.S. states meet, even though surveyors were a little off when they set the marker in 1875. . . . "Where the marker is now is accepted," Doyle said. "Even if it's 10 miles off, once it's adopted by the states, which it has been, the numerical errors are irrelevant. It becomes the legal definition" of the Four Corners.


Anonymous Tom Brain said...

I got a good Information regarding markers.

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9:48 AM  
Blogger Jason Sisk said...,-109.044907&z=18

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