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    Re: HIstory of the Intl Date Line
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2011 Feb 10, 15:56 -0800

    Paul,

    Not only is it worth pointing out Robert van Gent's web page on the International Date Line to folks again, since the International Date Line is often misunderstood, it's probably also worth noting that he was an active member of this community over ten years ago. Have a look at this message in the NavList archives:
    http://www.fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?y=199902&i=195

    It begins as follows:
    "Hello, my name is Robert van Gent and I am a new member to this list. I am interested in the history of astronomy and its application in related fields such as calendars and navigation."

    And continues:
    "2) My second question is of a more cartographical nature. After inspecting several 20th-century atlases I noticed that in each source the International Date Line (IDL) is drawn along a slightly path and that no two atlases agree completely. Is there such a thing as an Internationally agreed Date Line? If so, who decides on these matters? And what do countries who straddle the IDL have to say in this matter?"

    I think it's worth saying here, though, that the IDL is really a cartographic fiction. We don't need it.

    -FER


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