Mapping Your 'American Futures' Suggestions

By James Fallows

I've put up a new post on our special American Futures project page, mapping the locations of the 600 smaller cities that readers have written in to recommend for a visit.*

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As I say in that post, what is remarkable about the submissions is not their volume but the care, quality, and vividness with which so many people have explained what is significant about the stories and dramas of their towns. I know the comparison is grandiose, but it feels like an unexpected and ad hoc modern counterpart to the detailed local chronicles of 1930s America during the Federal Writers Project.

A live version of the map, which allows you to zoom in to see individual cities, is at the site. What you see above is a static screen shot, including the simple blue line for the first leg of the trip, from the Washington DC area to Holland, Michigan, where we are right now.

More maps and other "permanent beta" improvements coming soon. For now, good night, and thanks for the fascinating ideas. 


* Previously I offered this navigation tip, which is no longer necessary since the posting order has been changed. The fine-tuning message remains.

"Navigation tip: on the left-hand column of that special page you will see four little dots, representing the four existing entries on the site. If you click on the bottom-most dot, you will get the most recent entry. We are fine-tuning this and many other aspects of the site, which is a collaboration involving brand-new software and is being refined and improved in real time.)"

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/08/mapping-your-american-futures-suggestions/278477/