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Sometimes 42 is the right answer

Prime Meridian

I was skimming the Codist blog when I read the following

One of my favorite data errors was when the latitude would be randomly in the 1000s even though the longitude was correct. MapKit would toss a fit so since I can’t know what the right value is, I just use 42 which puts the pin at the wrong location but at least it’s not crashing.

I just started laughing. Been there, done that, want it on a t-shirt.  When collecting positional data from other sources, sometimes you just get bad data in.  And in this case, 42 is the Ultimate Answer.

A while back I had written a data collection service that was collecting vehicle positions from onboard GPS device.  Every now and then, the locations became random.  This app was running in the continental US,  any latitude/longitude values outside that range for that area were just ignored.  In my case, any wrong location was unusable data.

The Prime Meridian image comes from Lindsay Holmwood’s Flickr feed.