Skip to content
CityLab
Design

San Francisco Deduces the Exact Center of the City, for Some Reason

It took satellites and a $35,000 gadget to mark the geographic center, which is almost certainly wrong.
The San Francisco Public Works department recently installed this plaque at the supposed center of the city. Nobody seems to know why, though.
The San Francisco Public Works department recently installed this plaque at the supposed center of the city. Nobody seems to know why, though.Mohammed Nuru/SFPW

37° 45’ 16.356940” North by 122°26’33.16387” West. That’s the precise geographic center of San Francisco, according to city surveyors who worked it out using a $35,000 positioning gadget and data from nearly a dozen satellites.

Of course, that location is almost certainly incorrect, to believe a beautifully surreal story by the Chronicle’s Steve Rubenstein. But first, here’s the newly crowned city center, which the San Francisco Public Works department has adorned with a shiny metal plaque: