Those Wacky Cartographers

In 1988 the Proclaimers unleashed the song I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) on an unsuspecting pub song singing audience. It quite likely the created the first song in the world that if you were caught not singing along to the chorus, you would be ejected from the pub and publicly shunned until it was your round.

That song did get me to think about what it would be like walking 1000 miles (500, and then 500 more). That’s about the distance from here to Cape Town, which is an uncomfortable flight or a very dull, tiring drive. Walking it would be madness. For the Proclaimers, who presumably started in Leith, walking 500 miles in any one direction poses a logistical problem. Enter the cartographers. The first map exploring this problem would have been how I would have looked at it too:

BoADpGpCEAEChTo

However, the earth is not flat so the circles would not actually take that shape. A reasonably detailed explanation shows what it should look like:

proclaimersCartographers!

Here is the youtube version if, for some reason, you have never encountered this song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbNlMtqrYS0

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