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Round World Vs. Flat world


geokesh
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Hi, I'm fairly new at this, and I've noticed some of the mystery caches tell you to assume "the world is round" or to assume "the world is flat". What does this mean in terms of solving the puzzle or projecting waypoints?

 

Thanks.

 

I don't know about those specific caches, so my information might not relate.

 

Since the world is round representing the map as flat distorts distances between two points. It can also change where two line intersect. For example, if you are given 4 location and asked to draw an X between them, you would get two different locations depending if you are looking at a globe or looking at a flat map.

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Can you give some examples of the caches that are using this verbiage? Seeing it context will help in coming up with reasonable responses. We aren't going to be solving any puzzles for you but we can at least help you interpret what you are reading. Maybe...

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This is the cache that first got me all confused:

 

TESTING TO DESTRUCTION

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...ae-3f2fe43e8cd2

It's meant to take a plane geometry problem and cast it as a real-world problem without the added complexity.

 

Unfortunately, it introduces some ambiguity into the puzzle. Which north are you supposed to use for the (very precise) azimuth? Magnetic north? That doesn't make sense, as the declination is only precise to about a half degree, so the bearings cannot be measured from magnetic north to that precision. Grid north? No, he mentions declination. Should you accommodate for the grid skew in the calculations or not?

 

Probably, given the attempt to fit the plane-geometry problem into the plane, the author means to use whatever declination is published (to the nearest half degree) , to treat it as infinitely precise, and to assume that grid north does not change over the scale of the problem.

 

I guess I am not overly impressed by the puzzle. The fact that the world is (mostly) round makes these problems a lot more difficult, even when the cache owner tries to remove it!

Edited by fizzymagic
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If you're assuming the world is round, you also need to make assumptions about which side of the curve we live on.

 

I remember reading something about folks who postulated that the world is round, but we live on the inside of a hollow sphere -- like inside a giant Kinder Egg.

 

hollow_earth_complete_shell_model.gif

Edited by CacheNCarryMA
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