Tip: Showing a fractal's location in other types of fractals

The View Location command is fairly straightforward and intuitive when the only windows involved depict Mandelbrot fractals. However, it is a bit more complicated if there are several different types of fractal windows open. Here are a couple of examples.

Example 1:

If you want to show the location of a regular Mandelbrot fractal in a Mand-cubed location window, Fractal eXtreme will oblige. However, this isn't a very meaningful thing to do.

To illustrate this meaninglessness, consider the Earth and Mars. Both are planets and both have longitude and latitude defining locations on their surface. Consequently, you could look at a map of Mars and determine where Canada would be on that planet by looking for the same longitude and latitude. But it doesn't really make sense to show Canada's longitude and latitude on a map of Mars and suggest that this is in fact, Canada's location. What you have shown are Canada's coordinate's on the planet Mars.

In much the same way, each type of fractal is its own planet, and each fractal window has coordinates. Thus, you can't truly display the location of a Mandelbrot fractal on the planet Mand-cubed. You can simply copy the coordinates.

Example 2:

If you are displaying the location of a Julia window within a Julia location window, and you then change the seed location of that Julia, you no longer have a true mapping. You are showing coordinates -- not location. This is because changing the Julia seed fundamentally changes the fractal. Each Julia seed defines a different Julia planet.

While each Julia seed is a planet, the Mandelbrot set is a map of all Julias (or a planet made of many planets). And despite the impression you may have gained from this and the previous example, showing the coordinates of a Julia set on the Mandelbrot sometimes has quite a lot of meaning. This is the result of a rather difficult mathematical theorem (which we don't entirely understand) that says: If you have a Mandelbrot set and a Julia set, and if you zoom in on the Mandelbrot set towards the Julia seed, and if you also zoom in on the Julia set around the same coordinates, the two fractals, which start out looking quite different, will begin to look more and more similar, until eventually they look almost identical. Usually. The reasons why it doesn't always work are way beyond us, but suffice it to say that if you choose a seed location in a nice busy area, it will probably work.

That was a bit confusing. To illustrate this example, do the following:

1) Zoom into a nice detailed area of a fractal, preferably of the Mandelbrot set.

2) On the File menu, click Duplicate as Julia.

Notice that the two fractals, while different, have a certain thematic similarity.

3) Double-click with the right mouse button in both windows to gradually zoom out.

Notice that the two fractal images gradually grow less and less similar, until they have virtually nothing in common.

You can see the similarity moving in the other direction, from dissimilar to similar, by using the Undo command (in the Edit menu) to reset the Julia window to its zoomed-in state, then toggling the Current option in the Show Location submenu of the Location menu for the Mandelbrot window, and then gradually zooming in towards the Julia window's location, as shown by the red box.