Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2001 15:25:38 +0200
From: "Petr" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
*** Where is Rotterdam anyway ? - A geographic adventure
I noticed that my own atlas (The Britannica Atlas) gives geographic co-
ordinates for all it's cities and I became curious about it's exact loca-
tion. I did some research in libraries and came up with these results:
51.55 N 4.30 E J.B. Wolters , Schoolatlas der gehele aarde, 35 ed., 1936
51.55 N 4.30 E Bos Niermeyer Atlas, 37 ed, 1947
51.55 N 4.29 E Times Atlas of the World, 1955 (and Dutch edition 1983)
51.55 N 4.30 E The Hamlyns Pictorial Atlas of the World, 1976
51.55 N 4.28 E Britannica Atlas, 1986
51.55 N 4.28 E Rand Mc Nally, The New International Atlas, 1994(and 1996)
51.55 N 4.32 E Trident Press, The 21st Century World Atlas, 1998
51.55 N 4.30 E The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, 1999
The sources on the Internet are a bit disappointing:
www.terraserver.com is down
www.calle.com says 51 N 4 E - very imprecise
www.astro.com says 51.55 N 4.29 E - but it's a site for astrologers
And as yet I've found no other sources of co-ordinates on the web.
I can't locate these precise co-ordinates in the wild, because I have no
GPS (I'll try to borrow it from someone). But my 1:25.000 topographic map
shows the co-ordinates of two other spots near the real Rotterdam location.
This was the next best thing, and I was quite excited by the opportunity to
visit two completely random urban sites without any special relevance. My
personal definition of Urban Exploration is still: "Visiting sites that
other people ignore" and this project fits the definition perfectly.
51.50 N 4.30 E - At the crossroads of the Engelsestraat and Hogebanweg,
almost on the border between Rotterdam and Schiedam. Low apartment buil-
dings, just three and four floors. A small park, a lawn full of dog-shit,
medium sized trees, a football field. The area looks deserted. Only a few
foreign looking men and women pass me by. They're walking from the street-
car to whatever destination. A lamppost with number 38, a red mailbox, a
yellow container for old bottles. A faded mural on one of the brick walls,
depicting a harbour-scene, looks like 1950. A perfectly dreary place, not-
hing to sit on.
51.50 N 4.25 E - On the Noordereiland, an island in the river. At the cor-
ner of the Marinestraat. Again the spot is in a small park. A neglected
lawn, two sides enclosed by the blind walls of buildings, two sides
enclosed by scruffy Italian poplar trees. Two dirty and broken benches and
a dustbin with an old windscreen-wiper sticking out of it. A very nice spot
to sit, except for the noise of the building-site next to it. At the other
side of the street IMREX BV sells alarm-installations, PA-installations and
portable bullhorns. A black van belonging to a magician's act is parked
next to it. No one walks by here.
This adventure sounds very simple and silly but I enjoyed it immensely.
Without the co-ordinates I would have never noticed these places. I'll cer-
tainly return to the spot on the Noordereiland, it has a lot of atmosphere.
An I dare to say that I'm probably the only person in the world who has
visited both sites on the same day.
And what about 51.50 N 4.20 E and 51.50 N 4.35 E ? They're totally uninte-
resting because they're outside of Rotterdam, and out of my territory.
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