“If You Can’t Follow Directions, You’ll End Up on Null Island”

“People talk about it as a mythological place—being banished to Null Island,” said cartographer Tim St. Onge at the U.S. Library of Congress, which houses eight million maps in its collection. “It is a recognized location in geographic information systems where errors end up.”

Every day, countless people seeking digital directions on their computers and smartphones are diverted to an isolated spot on the Atlantic Ocean, 1,000 miles or so off the coast of Africa, where the Prime Meridian and the equator intersect. It’s called Null Island.

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