17-Apr-2002 -- On March 12 2002, Felix and I received a GEOReport e-Newsletter from GeoTec Media that had an article titled: Web Project Inspires GPS Users to Explore Earth’s “Invisible Intersections”. After looking at the website and seeing that 4 New Brunswick sites still had yet to be visited we were hooked. This was something we had to do. So planning began.
One of the points, 46 degrees North by 67 degrees West, was just a short distance (17 kilometers from the City limits as the crow flies) from where we live – Fredericton. A search of the Provincial government web-based property ownership database indicated that the point lay within public lands. That was the first piece of good news. We didn’t have to deal with a private landowner.
After using the Geographic Information System to look at the 1:10000 mapping of the area we determined that the point was located approximately 100 metres off a dirt road. That was the second piece of good news.
The third piece of good news was the time of year. Since the area is forested, we were hoping that we would have better success at this time (spring) before the leaves had come out.
As luck would have it the tree cover was very low and the point lay in a small clearing. The kilometer and a half drive in from the highway (Route 615) was along a dirt road. During the summer months this wouldn’t be a problem but after a Canadian winter thaw and 2 weeks of rain saying it was sloppy is an understatement. Fortunately we had a 4 wheel drive vehicle to take us in. The drive in left large ruts that we had to avoid on the way out.
Using a compass and the navigation capabilities of the Leica GS50 GPS unit we were able to quickly plan a route. Along for the adventure were Camey and Tanner, our two “man’s best friends”. It was debatable who had the better time. The GPS unit has a sub-metre accuracy due to real-time corrections received from the Canadian Coast Guard Beacon. We were confident that we would accurately find the location.
It took 15 minutes to navigate in. The only other signs of recent visitors to the area were some moose droppings that we endeavored to avoid. The terrain was very wet and boggy (as the GIS mapping had indicated it would be). Once we found the point we took the required 4 compass shots, several pictures of us standing on the intersection and some of the area. There is also a shot of the GPS screen showing the location to an accuracy of 0.02 seconds (a ground distance of less than a metre) in both directions and a system position quality of 80 centimeters. Later on we may try some of the other intersections as well.