May 1, 2013

NeighborhoodScout.com published its list of the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America. These are urban areas where you stand at least a one in 15 chance of either being murdered, raped, assaulted or robbed in a given year. On the high end of the list, your odds drop to one in seven.

You get into Google Street View and expect to see riots, fires and mayhem. What you don’t expect are bluebird clear skies, clean-cut front yards and shady trees keeping watch over a a boulevard with two sidewalks.

There are blights and sores to be seen in these neighborhoods, usually if you turned your head 45 degrees from the images shown. But that said, I decided today to look for the beauty instead.

April 14, 2013
U.S. Highway 85 (Can/Am Highway)Looking slightly southwest from just inside Laramie County, Wyoming, toward Weld County, Colorado. The borderline between the two states lays where the shoulder changes color. Downtown Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming, is just ten miles away.
I came across this location when I first started the blog. It’s easy to find, has some landmarks on it and the sky’s pretty. However, I’ve featured Colorado and Wyoming twice apiece already, and with big rectangle states like those two, it doesn’t take long to run out of borderlines. So I decided to save this one, especially since when I first saw this scene, there was a cool storm a’brewing in the background.


However, some of those cool sights are getting replaced. Google is in the process of retracing some old steps with a fancy high-definition camera. While this is greatly improving this free service – you can actually zoom in and read street signs now – I experienced a small panic when I approached the driveway to The Den Gentlemen’s Club (NSFW Rating: R). Where was my storm?

Ah, there it is. Photographed originally in 2007, it’s a storm that never passes. You can see the differences between the two eras as well. I never realized there was a windmill farm back there until I saw the High-Def version.

Anyway, a closer look at the borderline: The Borderline Cantina on the left is completely in Colorado while the houses on the right are in Wyoming. The line falls at the bottom of that incline. Those windmills are all in Colorado, too, as you can see from this made-for-desktop-wallpaper image from Satellite View.

Finally, here’s a combo of the two eras into one pic. See if you can spot which is which. (A hint: that’s the same bush in two places.)
(Google Maps, Bing, Windmills on Bing, 2008 story on Borderline Cantina’s steady lottery sales to Wyoming residents.)

U.S. Highway 85 (Can/Am Highway)
Looking slightly southwest from just inside Laramie County, Wyoming, toward Weld County, Colorado. The borderline between the two states lays where the shoulder changes color. Downtown Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming, is just ten miles away.

I came across this location when I first started the blog. It’s easy to find, has some landmarks on it and the sky’s pretty. However, I’ve featured Colorado and Wyoming twice apiece already, and with big rectangle states like those two, it doesn’t take long to run out of borderlines. So I decided to save this one, especially since when I first saw this scene, there was a cool storm a’brewing in the background.

image


However, some of those cool sights are getting replaced. Google is in the process of retracing some old steps with a fancy high-definition camera. While this is greatly improving this free service – you can actually zoom in and read street signs now – I experienced a small panic when I approached the driveway to The Den Gentlemen’s Club (NSFW Rating: R). Where was my storm?

image

Ah, there it is. Photographed originally in 2007, it’s a storm that never passes. You can see the differences between the two eras as well. I never realized there was a windmill farm back there until I saw the High-Def version.

image

Anyway, a closer look at the borderline: The Borderline Cantina on the left is completely in Colorado while the houses on the right are in Wyoming. The line falls at the bottom of that incline. Those windmills are all in Colorado, too, as you can see from this made-for-desktop-wallpaper image from Satellite View.

image

Finally, here’s a combo of the two eras into one pic. See if you can spot which is which. (A hint: that’s the same bush in two places.)

(Google Maps, BingWindmills on Bing, 2008 story on Borderline Cantina’s steady lottery sales to Wyoming residents.)

February 5, 2013
1st StreetLooking north from Clayton, Iowa, across the Mississippi River into the Catfish Slough, near Gasner Hollow Prairie State Natural Park in Wisconsin.
If you’re looking for parks, by the way, you’ve come to the right place. Within about a ten mile stretch of the river here, you’ll find Wyalusing State Park (Wis.), Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa) and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (both states.) The Wisconsin River drains into the Mississippi at a point about 20 miles upriver.
(Google Maps, Bing Maps)

1st Street
Looking north from Clayton, Iowa, across the Mississippi River into the Catfish Slough, near Gasner Hollow Prairie State Natural Park in Wisconsin.

If you’re looking for parks, by the way, you’ve come to the right place. Within about a ten mile stretch of the river here, you’ll find Wyalusing State Park (Wis.), Effigy Mounds National Monument (Iowa) and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (both states.) The Wisconsin River drains into the Mississippi at a point about 20 miles upriver.

(Google Maps, Bing Maps)

January 29, 2013
Congamond Road / Connecticut Highway 168Looking east from Southwick, Massachusetts, into Suffield, Connecticut. The body of water is the “middle pond” of the Congamond Lakes. The borderline lays on the eastern shoreline, located just under the front of the backhoe. All of the water is in Massachusetts. The traffic signals on the left are in Connecticut.Most of Massachusetts lays due north of Connecticut. However, this image was taken from inside the Southwick Jog, a notch cut out of Connecticut’s border to balance out an error made by land surveyors who accidentally gave away the seven southernmost miles of Massachusetts. This mistake, which has lived on through five centuries, still gives some property owners fits. (We don’t know where exactly those property owners live, but these people must have similar problems.)
The 12 Mile Circle can give you much more detailed and entertaining information about the Southwick Jog. We’re only good at clipping pictures.
(Google Maps, Bing)

Congamond Road / Connecticut Highway 168
Looking east from Southwick, Massachusetts, into Suffield, Connecticut. The body of water is the “middle pond” of the Congamond Lakes. The borderline lays on the eastern shoreline, located just under the front of the backhoe. All of the water is in Massachusetts. The traffic signals on the left are in Connecticut.

Most of Massachusetts lays due north of Connecticut. However, this image was taken from inside the Southwick Jog, a notch cut out of Connecticut’s border to balance out an error made by land surveyors who accidentally gave away the seven southernmost miles of Massachusetts. This mistake, which has lived on through five centuries, still gives some property owners fits. (We don’t know where exactly those property owners live, but these people must have similar problems.)

The 12 Mile Circle can give you much more detailed and entertaining information about the Southwick Jog. We’re only good at clipping pictures.

(Google MapsBing)

January 24, 2013
Nuorgamintie (975)/Riksveg 895Looking northwest from near Polmak, Norway into Utsjoki, Finland. The borderline lays in the cleared space just past the wooden bridge and ends just 1,300 feet away (400 meters) in the middle of the Teno River. The northern bank of the river is located in Norway as well.
This is a rare occurrence of being able to enter Finland from Norway from the east. Norway forms Finland’s northern border, reaching over across Sweden from the west in the process. This point is roughly 250 miles (400 km) north of the Arctic Circle. Near as we can tell, this is the northernmost borderline that can be seen on Google Street View.
This area of Finland falls in the Lapland region of Finland, home to the indigenous Sami people.
Its Coat of Arms looks like this:  
(Google Maps)

Nuorgamintie (975)/Riksveg 895
Looking northwest from near Polmak, Norway into Utsjoki, Finland. The borderline lays in the cleared space just past the wooden bridge and ends just 1,300 feet away (400 meters) in the middle of the Teno River. The northern bank of the river is located in Norway as well.

This is a rare occurrence of being able to enter Finland from Norway from the east. Norway forms Finland’s northern border, reaching over across Sweden from the west in the process. This point is roughly 250 miles (400 km) north of the Arctic Circle. Near as we can tell, this is the northernmost borderline that can be seen on Google Street View.

This area of Finland falls in the Lapland region of Finland, home to the indigenous Sami people.

Its Coat of Arms looks like this:  Sami Coat of Arms

(Google Maps)