Friday, 23 November 2012

Where Did The Island Go?

image credit Google Earth

A team of Australian scientists discover that an island in the Pacific, which appears on maps and weather charts, doesn't exist. The island, named Sandy Island on Google Earth, sits between Australia and New Caledonia in the south Pacific. It's not just Google but the island also appears on Yahoo, Bing, as well as on the Times Atlas of the World.

But when Australian scientists sailed past where the island should be, they found nothing but blue ocean. Neither the French government - the invisible island would sit within French territorial waters if it existed - nor the ship's nautical charts, which are based on depth measurements, had the island marked on their maps.

3 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

It is (was?) common for mapmakers to include street names, small islands, etc. on their maps so that if the information were copied by another printer or cartographer, the original mapmaker would know and be alerted to the plagiarism. Could be that the island was just such a hidden marker, and that it was introduced into the digital versions of the world map in the same way: it was copied without verification.

Anonymous said...

Yup....A Google mousetrap!

Gerard said...

That's a very good explanation. But it's not a Google mousetrap. The island already appeared on a German map from 1932, as you can see here:

Sandy Island