While we're talking imaginary maps....

By James Fallows

Previously here. From one disgruntled reader:

"I know they're not your names, but North New England and South New England are just terrible. I recommend "Ocean State" for the southern portion and "Red Sox Nation" for the northern portion."

And from another, a reminder that this exercise has been carried out before -- including in an oddball (IMHO) suggestion in the 1970s for dividing the nation into 38 states of more or less equal territory -- though obviously not equal population. (Compare the 10+ million in teeming "San Gabriel" or "Hudson," on one extreme, with the scant ranks in "Seward" or "Bighorn," on the other.) The idea was that it would lead to efficiencies in governance, as explained here. Click for larger version.

38states.jpg


A reader's note introducing this map:
"I thought I would bring to your attention a feature in Slate from November 2009 about the book Strange Maps by Frank Jacobs.  The article has a slide show that features a map by C. Etzel Pearcy created in the 1970s that redrew the United States into 38 regions...

"The maps by Neil Freeman use at least six of the same names contained in the Pearcy map for very similar locations - Susquehanna, Wabash, Chesapeake, Cumberland, Bitterroot, and Erie (OH in the Pearcy map while upstate NY in the Freeman map)  It appears the Freeman maps may have been inspired by the Pearcy map. ["Inspired" in the positive rather than derivative sense of the term, I think -- JF.] I received Strange Maps as a Christmas gift and it is an entertaining cartographic adventure."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/01/while-were-talking-imaginary-maps/34153/