‘Fun’ with maps…

Edit- Gah, scheduler didn’t schedule this morning, sorry!

Maps can be important for any number of reasons…

Directions, topography, distances, etc.

But they can also be educational…

Red is the highest population areas in the US

Or, you can look at the population densities of the coastal areas (orange) and how much of flyover country is required to match those populations…

This one shows the density of trees across the US. Note that the Mississippi River valley actually shows as virtually treeless, by comparison to the land on either side of it.

If you match that with ‘primary’ land utilization, you get some interesting correlations…

Maps (or charts as we called them) can do a lot of things, if one is willing to do a little digging…

I am using maps quite a bit in the research for my current WIP western. YMMV or not…


Comments

‘Fun’ with maps… — 16 Comments

  1. These kinds of maps can be very informational and interesting. However, data can be skewed because it is based entirely on county data. (…parishes in Louisiana.)

    Two things glaringly obvious to me are, first what juvat pointed out. New Orleans is not red, but several, much smaller cities are. An example is where I live – Louisville (Jefferson county)Kentucky – which is red. New Orleans is a much larger metro area than Louisville is. My guess is that New Orleans spans several parishes in LA, whereas Louisville is all in one county.

    And second, if you look at southern California, it shows the great expanse of the Mohave desert as red when it probably has the least population density of anywhere in the US. But, California has some of the largest counties in the US, and San Bernardino and Riverside counties, which are very densely populated on their western end, include a great expanse of this desert in their central area and eastern end.

    As to the treeless Mississippi river valley, it’s not really treeless, but the density of trees in the valley is lower than in other areas because it is flat, bottom land, and very good for agriculture. If you drive through the delta area you see great expanses of fields with tree lines bordering those fields. If you will notice, the Ohio river valley is not like that, but the Missouri river valley is.

  2. Juvat- I’m not sure how they calculated population density.

    Roy- Good points. I have no good answer. For SOCAL, I think they included Las Vegas… LOL

    PK- Well, golf courses WERE a requirement on Air Force bases…

  3. Ed- Good one, but it doesn’t show the 3 hole course on the glacier in Thule… I KNOW it’s there, because I played it! 😀

  4. The Land Use Map has some issues.

    The one that jumped out at me is that the state of Iowa (my home) is lumped into cattle and range. NO No No, corn and soybeans with a little pasture land on the creek bottoms. Pasture land often left fallow because it is to little to mess with. Parts are to hilly to farm and that is timber or used as pasture.

    Mike

    • It isn’t a land use map, it is a land use chart shaped like the continental US, with the area of states vs area of land use being visually comparable. The creators are not trying to describe land use at any particular area of the US.

  5. The first map of highest population densities reminded me of something said by Robert A. Heinlein: “Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.”
    ― Robert A. Heinlein -. Seems to me it might explain a lot nowdays.

  6. Heh. When I was old enough to be trusted with the task, I got the job of updating the Jepp charts when the monthly envelope arrived.

    That was the easy part. I then got quizzed by the resident PIC on what the differences were between a few randomly selected new charts and the old ones. BTW, this was in DCA, just as IAD was coming on line…..if you’ve ever flown it you know what those charts look like. Some headings have more restricted airspace than unrestricted.

    “Tell you what – plot a course from (specified) Point X to (specified) Point Y, return via (specified) Point Z, with times and headings, and we’ll fly it this weekend.”

    I eventually started getting them right……

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