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The Fractal Coastline site is thought provoking and quite informative. It is laid out very methodically and the two examples provided have elaborate steps to enhance the grasp of concept. I perused through the java applet but it was not as informative as the text. Although it conveyed the concept that was stated in the text but not without reading the text over again before being able to interpret the results.
I have a map hanging up against my bedroom wall and never in a zillion years it stuck me the complexity involved in coastline measurement. Anytime I wanted to get the distance I would count the number of longitudinal (or latitudinal lines) and size it using the scale indicated on the map. It was pretty interesting to learn that coastlines like many other natural objects often exhibit fractal characteristics and that two distinguishing characteristics of a fractal are self-similarity at different scales and fractional (non-integer) dimension.
The site is pretty informative for people who would like to learn about the existence of fractals in real world. Also it briefly touches upon the usage of log-log graph paper. Nevertheless it took me a while to understand the contents of the site, I believe to have good understanding of the topic the prerequisite in geometry and fractal must be met.
14 years ago
Martin Koning Bastiaan
Generates Fractal coastlines and allows measuring of resulting coastline This is one of the premier examples of an applet which has been the center of a curriculum unit on fractals and measurement.
15 years ago
Great example of actual use in a High School There's a really great link from the applet page to a page used by an actual high school teacher for a lesson.