Antarctic Research Stations That Didn’t Survive

Maintaining a research station on the world’s coldest, harshest, and most remote continent requires many things: a scientific mandate to give it purpose; a continuous influx and exchange of personnel to prevent isolation-induced burnout; constant structural maintenance and restocking and supplies; and, most importantly, the government support and funding to keep them operating. While the…

Continue Reading →

A Trip to Trout Lake

It only figures that on the heels of my friends’ trip to Washington’s abandoned Central Ferry Park last month, I wound up taking one of my own trips into an abandoned rural locale of the Pacific Northwest not long after. One of the perks of working in an archives is the trips you get invited…

Continue Reading →

Exploring Central Ferry Park

About three weeks ago, two lifelong friends of mine, Lee Orr and Stefan Klopp, pooled their vacation time and hit the ever-stunning Palouse region of southeast Washington for a week of backroads photography and sightseeing. For Lee, a pro photographer and digital artist, it was the last chance to get away for the season and indulge…

Continue Reading →

Svalbard: Google Street View, Pyramiden, and the Global Seed Vault

Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Source: HylgeriaK, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Longyearbyen_panorama_july2011.jpg. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. This week saw the latest TBG article for Google Sightseeing commemorate the newly-released Google Street View imagery for the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard; the northernmost such imagery released to date (you can view the article here). The imagery begins in the picturesque world’s northernmost…

Continue Reading →

A Gallery of Ghost Signs

Grandma’s Boy, Vancouver, British Columbia. This old advertisement for Harold Lloyd’s 1922 classic silent comedy was rediscovered in February 2012 when the building next to it, built in 1923, was torn down. Sadly, this building was also scheduled to be demolished, and indeed it was just a couple of weeks later, taking the advert with…

Continue Reading →

California City and Environa: Invisible Metropolises

At the intersection of geographical curiosity and failed urban planning lies California City.  Anyone who’s browsed Google Maps in the Mojave Desert just north of Los Angeles has likely noticed the massive street grid lying in the middle of nowhere, producing the illusion of a city of hundreds of thousands of people that quickly fades…

Continue Reading →

Smeerenburg: A 17th-Century European Ghost Town in the Arctic Ocean

If someone were to bring up a visit to a 17th-century European ghost town in conversation, one’s thoughts would probably turn to images of old stone farmhouses, an empty town square, or perhaps even a small castle.  An Arctic whale blubber processing station barely ten degrees south of the North Pole is probably not one…

Continue Reading →

Following Up: An April 2012 Update on Previous Articles

It’s been a few months since our last follow-up post, so here are a few mini-updates and additional tidbits on some topics from previous articles (of which we have officially reached 400 today) here at The Basement Geographer: Varosha: Forever Trapped in 1974 (originally posted 27 August 2010): A report in the Turkish daily Milliyet on…

Continue Reading →