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Why don’t people commemorate those special things about their local area with more gusto and accuracy? For example, one would think a large country like Ecuador, whose very name commemorates the fact that they are located on the Earth’s equator, and whose major city is located very near the equator, would erect a splendid monument commemorating that simple fact. It would be a one-off affair to build their monument precisely on the equator, because the equator isn’t going to move much, and the monument itself could proudly display the fact that it moves at all. Each year they could etch a new line in a granite surface on the winter solstice displaying the change that occurred that year. That would make the monument into a changing attraction, and people like a little change. It would then attract people to come and visit it at different times in their lives. It would be like a kid measuring his height each year against the kitchen door-jam, as I did.

There are a couple of monuments there in Ecuador, but they are less than spectacular, and not very accurate, at least on the Google Earth measure. There is one along a highway at -0.001282, -78.176868, which is 142 meters too far south by Google Earth measure. There is a small marker placed on a mountain ridge at 0.000180, -78.428349 which is more accurate but is 23 meters north of Google Earth’s equator. It seems the reasonable place to put a monument would have been along the major highway Manuel Cordova Galaiza north of Quito where the equator crosses it at Moraspungo, but that didn’t quite happen. Instead there is a beautiful and expensive monument near there at -0.002166, -78.455756 which is 238 meters south of the equator. This should be and is a national shrine, but why didn’t they put it in the right place? The error is going to be there forever, and because of the misplacement they can’t have the fun of moving of the line to track the Earth’s slight wobbles.

It would make the monument more interesting and more accurate to add a new structure, perhaps a simple large flat surface of granite, centered at 0.000000, -78.458857. That new site is presently 419 meters further along the already existing beautiful walkway leading to the current monument. This new addition could be seen as a modern enhancement to the old monument. Or the new line might be placed at 0.000000, -78.455763, which is 237 meters due north.

Of course all of this is speculation based on the accuracy of Google Earth’s measurement, but the poles’ locations do wobble and so does the equator and the existing monument could take advantage of that natural variation by showing it.