Tropic of Error

The picayune concerns of a picayune mind: I noticed looking at the generally well-put-together site for the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer mission that they’ve mixed up latitude and longitude on their map displays showing where the plane is. Of course, the mission has bigger problems now — due to an unexplained problem, pilot Steve Fossett has several hundred gallons of fuel fewer than he’s supposed to at this stage of the flight and he might not complete his nonstop circumnavigation at all. Despite the larger problems at hand, I couldn’t stop myself from sending the following note:

I’m sure I’m the latest of a million people to point it out, but the current mission status windows have latitude and longitude reversed (for instance, Steve’s current position is given as Longitude N33.25447 and Latitude E145.54005. My understanding of these coordinate systems on planet Earth is that longitude is expressed in degrees east or west of the prime (Greenwich) meridian and latitude is expressed in degrees north or south of the Equator.

Having done some Web site design, it seems like it would be an easy enough fix to make. What gives?

One Reply to “Tropic of Error”

  1. I don’t know whether it was you or the other million minus one people who did it but they finally fixed that error.

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