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Greenland's coastline...

 
Bert Bates
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I get a "daily escape" email with a picture of some cool place I might like to visit someday. I like this service.

That said, I had to laugh at the first sentence in the description of today's picture:

Greenland's coastline is longer than the circumference of the Earth...


So, doesn't that length depend mightily on the length of your measuring stick? Is there a standard measuring stick length for such things as "the length of a coastline"?
 
Paul Clapham
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Bert Bates wrote:So, doesn't that length depend mightily on the length of your measuring stick?


Well, yes, that's right.

Is there a standard measuring stick length for such things as "the length of a coastline"?


Believe it or not there's a "World Vector Shoreline" database which can be used to produce fun facts like this one. Check out the Wikipedia article which your article's writer may have referred to: List of countries by length of coastline.
 
Greg Charles
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That reminds me of this analogy on why software estimates are so unreliable: http://www.quora.com/Engineering-Management/Why-are-software-development-task-estimations-regularly-off-by-a-factor-of-2-3

The coastline looks much longer when you're standing on it.
 
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