Antipodal: the app that tells you where you're not
Antipodal is a (now defunct) iPhone app that shows you what is on the opposite side of the Earth from where you stand. The app uses latitude and longitude obtained from the radios on the device to determine location. This invisible graph of demarcations has been used since the 3rd century BC to navigate, predict natural events, and differentiate otherwise undifferentiated landscapes.
Antipodal uses the Google Maps API to produce an accurate representation of the latitudinal and longitudinal location of the user. An opaque overlay of the user's current cartographic location is visible under the map of her antipode.
Rather than reaching China after digging a hole through the earth (as the saying goes) most Americans would, after expending this effort, reach the bottom of the Indian Ocean. While we move head on into a preference for mobile technology with instantaneous communication to others, the vast swaths of distance between major hubs of human infrastructure fade from our imagination. Longitude and Latitude were discovered in order to allow sailors, naval navigators, merchants, and explorers a means of moving masses of bodies and goods at great cost and effort through the expanses of space between hubs of human infrastructure. Now we are just as likely to “fly over” or rely on instantaneous communication, leaving the lonely expanses between us easily forgotten.
I like antipodes because they remind me of my favorite shape, the torus.