Not long ago, a friend asked me what percentage of the world’s population I thought lived North of Stockholm. Off the top of my head, I guessed 1%. Obviously, he already knew the answer, having figured it out earlier (he’s like that) and it turns out only around 20 million people live at a higher latitude north than Stockholm, or one third of one percent of the world’s population.
Just yesterday, I sat wondering about what spot would have the most ocean surrounding it on its hemisphere, and also what spot would have the most land surrounding it. I fired up Google Earth and had a guess. Most ocean: Somewhere in the South Pacific, not surprisingly. Most land: Could it really be Stockholm?
But surely GIS pros have datasets on which they could run analysis that would confirm such spots? Also, has anyone run analysis on the Gridded Population of the World database to determine what would be the best spot for a cataclysmic meteor to hit Earth, in terms of minimizing mass death? (I’m assuming perhaps naively that not being in the same hemisphere as ground zero makes you safe.) My guess is that the “best” site would be somewhere on Antarctica. As luck would have it, that is exactly where the world’s largest known meteorite crater lies buried.