Map of the Day: The Geography of Secrecy

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The Washington Post has a fascinating series up today called "Top Secret America" about the 3,202 government organizations and private companies "that work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations nationwide."

One of the more interesting aspects of the series is the interactive map detailing programs per state, region, or town. I crunched the numbers on government programs per capita, and the top five states are:

1. District of Columbia: 17,637 people per "top secret" program

2. Virginia: 31,280

3. Hawaii: 31,590

4. Alaska: 33,261

5. Maryland 42,218

Outside of the Beltway and our two "outpost states," the government programs tend to be more evenly distributed.

Private companies, however, are bunched around major defense and intelligence installations, including Tampa (CENTCOM), Quantico (the "Crossroads of the Marine Corps"), Hampton Roads (Navy's Atlantic fleet), Colorado Springs (NORAD), San Antonio (huge Army and Air Force bases), and SoCal (many defense institutions, including Edwards AFB), Cambridge (MIT), and Omaha (STRATCOM).

Unfortunately, the Post map does have some glitches (it's not possible to click on a circle that is shadowed by another one), but for the most part, it's a great resource that might shed some light on what they call the "fourth branch of government."

In the maps below, the red dots denote government work locations while the blue ones denote private company work locations.

Top Secret America in DC Area

Top Secret America Government Work Locations

Top Secret America Company Work Locations

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Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. More

Patrick Ottenhoff attends Georgetown McDonough School of Business in the Class of 2012. He previously served as a project manager in the Public Affairs Practice of New Media Strategies and was a staff writer for National Journal Group. Patrick has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. As the name implies, the blog covers news and commentary at the intersection of politics and geography, but it also analyzes the stories, people, culture, sports, and food behind the maps and the votes. Patrick is a native Virginian and graduate of Union College in New York. You can follow The Electoral Map on Twitter and Facebook, and follow Patrick on YouTube.
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