Map of the day

Source – bigthink.com

The World’s Longest Sailable Straight Line

Algorithmically correct: the world’s longest sailable straight line goes from Pakistan to Kamchatka

The world’s longest straight line on land was calculated by researchers Rohan Chabukswar of the United Technologies Research Centre (UTRC) in Cork (Ireland) and Kushal Mukherjee at IBM’s Research Laboratory in New Delhi (India).
In a paper published earlier this year (and last updated on 25 December), they set out their solution to the question of finding the world’s longest straight lines over land and at sea. That question sounds simple enough, but isn’t: “This is an optimisation problem, rendered chaotic by the presence of islands and lakes, and indeed the fractal nature of the coasts”.

They were prompted by a map that had raised a lot of discussion since its first publication on Reddit in 2012. Posted by user kepleronlyknows, it purports to show the longest possible straight-line sailing route in the world: from Pakistan to Kamchatka, threading the needle twice ? through the Mozambique Strait separating Madagascar from the African mainland, and via the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica.

bigthink.com

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