Monday, January 31, 2005

The 38 United States of America

Forget the 50 United States. That's too many. We should only have 38! At least that's what this guy thinks:
The map reducing the U.S. to 38 States is the creation of C. Etzel Pearcy, geography professor at California State University, Los Angeles. The new boundaries totally erase the 104 lines currently separating the 50 States. Each State's new name, chosen with the help of a poll of geography students, represents a physical or cultural aspect of the new territory...

Why the need for a new map? Pearcy states that many of the early surveys that drew up our boundaries were done while the areas were scarcely populated. Thus, it was convenient to determine boundaries by using the land's physical features, such as rivers and mountain ranges, or by using a simple system of latitude and longitude. Proof of this lies in the fact that the Mississippi River borders 10 States. The practicality of old established State lines is questionable in light of America's ever-growing cities and the increasing mobility of its citizens. Metropolitan New York, for example, stretches into 2 adjacent States. Other city populations which cross State lines are Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City. The "straddling" of State lines causes economic and political problems. Who should pay for a rapid transit system in St. Louis? Only those citizens within the boundaries of Missouri, or all residents of St. Louis's metropolitan area, including those who reach over into the State of Illinois?
So I guess I grew up in Carolina and currently live in Biscayne. I just don't know why people would go out and make up new systems like this.

You can see the large scale map here.

Thanks to The Map Room for the tip.

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