X Marks the Spot!.....But Not - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

X Marks the Spot!.....But Not


As they say x marks the spot.  I had heard we had a land mark real close to home but a then interesting question arises.  How do they make sure that is the spot? Does the Earth shift? While learning about how county surveyors actually measure land I learned a lot more then just how one spot is accounted for.

There are only four places on Earth where the 90th meridian of longitude intersects with the 45 parallel of latitude.  One of these places sits in Marathon county only minutes away from Wausau just outside a little town of Poiatowski.  This spot marks the center of northern half of the Western Hemisphere ( say that three times fast!).  This means that it is exactly half way between the North Pole and the Equator and a quarter of way around the Earth from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England.   

In 1965 a sign was put up marking the spot with a monument following in 1975, done by the United States Geological Society.  Something interesting to note, the sign is not the actually spot! It is on private property so it is a representation of the spot.  The actually intersection is 1066 feet away from the sign!  One of the pictures I posted shows the distance.     

When I went to speak with the country surveyors I learned a little in all that goes into surveying land.  One thing interesting is that every calculation involves the pressure and temperature!  Everything is based on 68 degree Fahrenheit and from that they must recalculate.  Now they have electric equipment and computers with formulas to account for the weather but before that they used steel measuring tapes.  Since steel is a metal they would have to do calculations based on the temp outside.  When asking about how much an exact spot could change I found out that difference is less than an inch so mainly insignificant.

Till next time!                  

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