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Birthday Coordinates

Christmas GPS, from XKCD

What a brilliant idea. The best part is that if you are on your own, you can use your birthday for both components, and make out with yourself. Anyway, to the Googlemobile! We haven't a moment to lose!

Geographic coordinates have X and Y components. Gay couples must choose who gets the X, but for obvious genetic reasons, everyone else should assign X to the female half (except polyamorous triads, who'll need a Z coordinate and either a helicopter, or a spade).

I initially mapped birth dates to coordinates in British DDMMYY format, but this ended up miles out to sea. I should have remembered that YYMMDD is the universally correct format - not only does it preserve chronological order in lexicographic orderings, it gave me a point on land. Win-win.

It just so happened that the Birthday Point was 10 miles away near a road I've driven down about 200 times in the last 15 years - a route from which I've never deviated. What a recipe for a familiar adventure!

Here's what Google Maps had to say about it all:

Birthday coordinates

The green marker is the closest parking spot we could find to the foot bridge (the A31 is a busy dual carriageway), the red marker is the exact location we were aiming for, and the blue marker is where we actually ended up.

I always knew our destination would be on private property. In my mind it would only just be on private property, perhaps at the far bottom of an abandoned rural house's garden, a mere hoppable fence away. In reality, it was some way ahead of us through a dense, pitch black forest. Since we had conveniently forgotten to bring a torch, the light of my phone's GPS screen was all we had to guide us. Rather than scramble through trees and possibly barbed wire in the dark, we found it more pleasant to just climb a small mound and stay there for a bit.

Footbridge at night. That's the moon hovering over the far railing.

All things considered, we couldn't have asked for more convenient birthdays. An easy drive and a short walk on the heath. I expect a more perilous adventure when we try it again in Bristol.

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