Internet records of measurements may be dodgy

Since my last post, some readers found Google has revealed the length of the Derwent River.  It gives the number of 249km without any indication of where that number was found or how it was calculated. Immediately below this information box are two listings both giving alternative conflicting distances.

My measurement of 214kms was from an arbitrary line between Cape Direction and Pearsons Point to mark the mouth of the Derwent River, and I stopped at the point where the river starts from the southern end of the Lake St Clair Lagoon.

I have noticed that one source indicates the measurement ought to be taken from the point where Lake St Clair meets the Lake St Clair Lagoon.  I have found another source which seems to indicate the mouth might be where Storm Bay meets the sea.  Even if the length of the Lagoon and the width of Storm Bay were added to my 214km, the Google number would not be reached.  I have asked Google to identify its sources because I cannot believe their number can be accurate. Unfortunately, I have not received any feedback.

STOP PRESS – JUST DISCOVERED THE AUTHORITATIVE LENGTH IS 215KMS.  Read my new November 2015 post.

10 thoughts on “Internet records of measurements may be dodgy

    1. Tasmanian traveller Post author

      The project is important to me and while I intend to write some sort of publication/s after I complete the walk, I doubt whether many if any will describe what I am doing ‘vastly important’. Truly so far this has been amazing fun, but important – well, I don’t know. Everything I do is to satisfy my own curiosity, however I know that information I locate and discover can be of interest to others. Therefore I try to be as accurate as possible (and perhaps I don’t always achieve this, although I try) but I loathe ‘facts’ which are given with no supporting evidence. Conjecture is fine as long as it declared as such. In relation to the length of the Derwent River I thought an official body that could provide a reasonably authoritative distance measurement would have been easy to find, however I have not been able to find such an organisation. In this day and age where extremes such as the bigger, the taller, the shorter, the fatter, the heavier, the lighter etc are commonplace,I have been surprised that I have not been able to find a reasonably reliable length for Tasmania’s major river.

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      1. bgddyjim

        Well, one way or another, Google is not going to be that body, nor would Wikipedia. You’re going to have to dig a little deeper than that. You’re going to have to look at mapping companies or even government bureaucracies to get your answers.

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        1. Tasmanian traveller Post author

          Agreed. So far I haven’t had success with government bureaucracies – but there is plenty of time. In a simple way I tried to find the length of the River when I started the project last August; if there had only been a few kilometres between each of the information sources rather than tens of kilometres, then I would never have been interested to find a more realistic and reliable distance. At the moment, I believe my Opisometer reading must be reasonably close to the mark. But, as you suggest, more research is required.

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  1. megan2153

    Well, I really think the only option to get a definitive answer is for you to re-start your journey, this time accompanied by a fitbit or similar device, that can measure your steps/distance!! This would give a proper indication of the WALKING length of the Derwent. Off you go, then 🙂

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