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st: RE: RE: RE: spatwmat: a further thought on XY coordinates

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: RE: RE: spatwmat: a further thought on XY coordinates
Date   Fri, 4 Feb 2005 18:57:14 -0000

My comment was about "most geographers". 

Alan probably has in mind what was not 
explicit -- that I am formally (or perhaps
was formerly) a geographer. However, 
I am not necessarily typical of "most
geographers". Nevertheless, the answer is simple. 

You use a name. For example, I can get to 
NASA, Houston, TX -- with some help from my 
friends -- without using any numbers whatsoever. 

This is not a technique I recommend to NASA. 
To get to Mars, for example, you should use numbers. 


> Nick - So how do you refer to a point 
> a) on the earth's surface (whatever "surface" means, since there is
> topography)?
> b) in the earth's interior
> without numbers?

Nick Cox
> This is not a problem. Most geographers 
> do not worry about coordinates of any 
> kind, being somewhat averse to numbers 
> in any shape or form. Those that do are 
> aware that the Earth is a oblate spheroid, 
> and better treated in a non-Cartesian way. 

Julia Gamas
> > XY coordinates may just be referring to the zone pair:  So in 
> > my case if zones 1
> > and 2 are neighbors then the XY="12" and "21" entries in the 
> > table are 1.  If
> > so it seems a bit "dangerous" to name it this because a 
> > geographer will
> > interpret them as literally the XY coordinates on the globe, 
> > making the whole thing confusing.  

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