In 2012, Reddit user kepleronlyknows posted a map (apparently generated by the Great Circle Mapper) which claimed to show the longest straight line on the globe which includes no land except at the ends, a path nearly 20,000 miles (over 32,000 km) by which someone could sail from Pakistan, around the southern tips of Africa and South America, and up the Pacific Ocean to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. The post led to much debate as to whether or not the claim was accurate.
Last month, Rohan Chabukswar (United Technologies Research Center in Ireland) and Kushal Mukherjee (IBM Research in India) published a paper in which they used a branch-and-bound algorithm to show that the path was indeed the longest by water, and as a bonus calculated the longest straight path by land, starting near Jinjiang, Quanzhou, Fujian, China and ending near Sagres, Portugal.
Today's Featured Map shows these two paths, with the longest by water in red and the longest by land in green.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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