Computer Column: summary fourth quarter 2001

[Published in Apex to Zenith #55 – Fourth Quarter 2001]
By: Roger Rowlett

The website is collecting photos of U.S. flags above state highpoints. We hope to collect all 50 and present them to the residents of New York City and Washington, D.C., in September. The website is:

There is a two-prong approach. John and Dave would like hard copies for the newsletter and for the poster. I would like to have One of the best first sites for these flags is that of our newest highpointer web ringer member He has pictures flying Old Glory over several Midwest highpoints. He has also pictures of him at the welcome signs on all 50 states and visits to capitals. If you would like to join the webring visit us at

While I’m on the topic of photos, we’ve also started a photo gallery at The Club newsletter is nifty but we can’t yet afford to make it full color. One of our first pictures is a nifty photo of Mount McKinley from the air.

We’ve added a new feature indicating the distance of state high points from each other. The distances are the shortest “Great Circle” route (“straight line” is not quite an accurate way to describe this as the earth is spherical and not flat). To arrive at these calculations you get into the mathematics of radians, pi and so forth. However to make it easier, we have a Excel plug in from the U.S.G.S. that permits you to enter formulas to calculate distance and bearing. The calculations are done in the same manner of how online map programs will tell you the closest hotels to your destination.

Here is interesting trivia based on these calculations:

If you take Hawaii and Alaska out of the calculation. The lowest average distance in miles to highpoints are in (1) Illinois 772; (2) Indiana 776; (3) Missouri (780); (4) Ohio (789) (5) Iowa (816). Is it any wonder that we seem to have a disproportionate number of highpointers with Midwest roots?

The states with the highest average distances (again excluding AK and HI) are (1) Washington (1,594), (2) Oregon (1,579); (3) California (1,504) (4) Nevada (1,479) and (5) Maine (1,280)

The states with the farthest single distance between highpoints are (1) Arizon (360); (2) Texas (324); (3) Iowa (284); (4) Missouri (232) and (5) Idaho (208).

States with the closes distance between highpoints are (1) Maryland and West Virginia (38); (3) Pennsylvania (41); and (4) Connecticut and Massachusetts (44).

North Carolina and Tennessee are with 100 miles of four other states; Connecticut, South Carolina and Kentucky are that close to three states and Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, West Virgnia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island are close enough to two other states.

More than 29 states (plus HI and AK) don’t have highpoints closer than 100 miles.

You can get this spreadsheet at

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