426: Geohashing

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Saturday is game night
Title text: Saturday is game night


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: explain terminology used in determining location (ie mp5)
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Geocaching is a sport where you have to find things hidden by other people based on geographical coordinates. Randall has had a similar idea before in 201: Christmas GPS.

Geohashing is a sport created by Randall based on reaching a random location determined by an algorithm that involves the current date, location and Dow opening price.

The algorithm is built in a way that:

  • Makes it impossible to plan a meeting in advance - because of the Dow.
  • Changes every day.
  • Gathers people that are nearby - everyone within the same 1°×1° grid square gets the same position.

Originally intended as a joke, there are people which do geohashing regularly. Please see the link to the xkcd wiki above.


Date (example): 2005-05-26
That date's (or most recent) DOW opening: 10458.68
[Concatenate, with a hyphen: 2005-05-26-10458.68]
md5: db9318c2259923d08b672cb305440f97
[Split it up into two pieces:]
0.db9318c2259923d0, 0.8b672cb305440f97
To decimal: 0.857713..., 0.544544...
Your location (example): 37.421542, -122.085589
[Combine integer part of location with fractional part of hash:]
Destination Coordinates: 37.857713, -122.544544
Sample Implementation: http://xkcd.com/geohashing/


  • In response to comic 353: Python, the Python developers implemented the module antigravity in version 2.7+. This module contains a reference geohashing function.

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