20-Jan-2004 -- I, Joseph Kerski, Geographer from the US Geological Survey in Colorado USA, and Bob Coulter, Education Specialist from the Missouri Botanical Garden in Missouri USA, visited Latitude 33 degrees North, Longitude 97 degrees West on a midwinter's day in North Texas. An hour earlier, Bob and I had landed at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, arriving in the area for the 16th annual GeoTech Conference. As the conference's focus
was on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and GPS in the educational curriculum, a confluence visit seemed the perfect way to begin a week of working to excite teachers about working with geographic information.
We departed the DFW Airport by 1245pm local time, driving northeast along Texas State Highway 121, crossing the county line from Dallas to Denton. The most difficult part about reaching the confluence was making a left turn into the office park. We finally were able to turn left on Corporate Drive off of Highway 121, then left on Edmonds, and left into the Convergence Office Center. It is interesting to note how confluence access can change over time. This office park was formerly gated, thwarting the first visitor's attempt in 1998, but by 2000, the Raytheon complex was in the process of converting to a standard office park. This allowed the successive visitors, including us, to reach the spot. By 140pm, we had arrived at the correct parking lot, and walked about 40 meters due east to the spot. I immediately recognized the north end of the building with its distinctive columned side from the previous visitor.
The confluence lies in a fairly newly developed area of suburban northern Dallas. The homes we had passed on our circuit were townhomes and single-family homes largely of
brick. The oldest buildings in the area were definitely the office buildings of the Convergence Office Center, where the confluence lies. While care has gone into resurfacing several of the parking lots, and much open space exists, the whole complex has a depressing air of 1960s decay. Nevertheless, we were quite excited, as this was my 30th confluence visit, my first of 2004, and Bob's first confluence visit. The ground cover at the confluence was planted short grass. The air temperature was a mild 50 F with little wind. We passed a police team holding a meeting in the first parking lot, but everyone else was inside the buildings. We saw no animals or birds, but the sky was
full of airplanes preparing to land at the airport.
As we neared the building, the GPS had difficulty zeroing in on the spot, but numerous GPS satellites in the southern sky at the time helped ensure success. After
taking a few photographs, a security staffperson drove up in a golf cart. We told him about our mission, and he let us continue. We filmed the movie, gazed once more at the
surroundings, and after spending a half hour at the site, walked back to the vehicle just after 2pm. Before leaving the office park, Bob took a photograph of me at the
Convergence sign. I then sprang my idea of visiting 34 North 97 West on Bob, who fortunately was agreeable. In fact, he had spotted my maps of the next confluence
while navigating us to the current one, and so had already anticipated my request.