Finding my Geographic Centre

Have you come across GeoMidpoint? This web service will help you find the midpoint between any number of geographical points. They’ve got all kinds of proposed uses for it, like finding a convenient restaurant that’s equidistant from each of you and your friends, but one of the more frivolous activities you can enjoy using it for is to find your home “centre of gravity”. Put in everywhere you’ve lived (and, optionally, how long you lived there for, as a weighting factor), and it’ll show you the centre point.

I gave it a go. Here’s where I’m centred.

Dan's centre point (the green 'M' pin).

Okay, you think – it’s not so surprising that the centre point is near Preston: I spent over a decade living there. But here’s the quirk: my addresses weren’t weighted by how long I’d lived there. All I did is put in everywhere I’d lived for six months or more, and let these places all have equal weight.

Curious, then, that the centre point comes to within a quarter hour’s drive of either of my parents’ houses, in Preston.

I suppose there are some balancing factors, here: places that cancel one another out quite nicely. The Northern bias of Scotland is counteracted by the comparative Southernness of Aberystwyth, Oxford, and Surrey. The strong Western bias of the many different places I lived in Aberystwyth are invalidated by quite how far East Aberdeen and London are. But still, it seems to be a quirky coincidence to me that the centre point would be so close to where I did most of my growing up, despite how much I’ve moved around.

New Earth, where we'll be moving later this year

This observation comes only a little while after the other Earthlings and I have finished signing the paperwork on what is later this year to become our new home, New Earth. It’s still in the Oxford area, but provides us with some nice things that we’re looking forward to, like more space (something we never seem to have enough of!). And any of you who’ve visited by car will probably appreciate how much more accessible the driveway is…

We’ll be moving this Summer, and in doing so we’ll pull my little green triangle over into Chorley. Better that, I think, than out in the Irish sea, which is where it’d be if I weighted where I’d lived by the amount of time I’d spent there!

22 replies to Finding my Geographic Centre

    • I guess we can do that… is it alright if we live in our lovely new house for a bit before we move on just so that you can achieve a contrived theme party?


    • Hate to be the one to break this to you, but we’re still following Battlestar Galactica canon with New Earth. If anything, we should re-watch the final two episodes of Season 4 of BSG…

      • Ah: whoops. Just actually READ your comment, Matt, and it makes sense now. Ahem.

        But if you’ll pay attention to the pilot, the Thundercats’ Third Earth was so-called because it was the third planet from it’s star, implying that it’s either a distant past or a far future time of OUR Earth.

          • Well… Aber IS represented by a star in the Flag Of Earth.

            But that would still imply that we’d lived on Mercury and Venus prior. And I don’t think that this place could be described as being like Mercury. For a start, Mercury’s warm.

            Still: we’ll see…

  1. My geographic centre is Manchester, by either method. A place where I’ve never lived.

    I ought to spend a year living in Canada or Australia or somewhere, just so I can have a cooler centre. Who’s with me?

    • I’m not. I don’t want my entirely reasonable Geographic Church Stretton Centre getting all smudged up by the antipodes…

    • When I added in the month I lived in the US, I ended up in the sea just off the coast of Northern Ireland. Definitely cooler, though not in perhaps the way you have in mind…

      PS, I think Manchester is awesome, but then I’m possibly biased…

  2. My midpoint is nowhere near anywhere I’ve lived (it’s just outside Evesham), but it is within walking distance of a place called Charlton… :-S

  3. My midpoint is near Stourbridge in Birmingham, thats a bit creepy. If I weight it by time spent living in each place, I end up in Tamworth, pretty little place at least.

  4. I’ve only lived in 2 places: Terrington St Clement (Norfolk) and Aberystwyth (Wales). My ratio is 2:1 (18 years vs 9 years) so my weighted midpoint is Leicester… If it gets to Birmingham I’ll have been in Aber as long as I was at home for, and it will definitely be time to leave!

  5. I’m quite tickled by this little toy, though I get put either in the North sea midway between England and Denmark or in the Baltic between Sweden and Poland depending on with weighting or without. Pesk army brat upbringing, Brunei really throws the centre out!

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