Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Different Map of the US

Via a NPR FB post, I learned about different maps of our great country. 

In "A 'Whom Do You Hang With' Map of America," the author provides one map that uses the circulation of currency to show population mobility. The article is a fascinating read because the maps show us the parochialism of our movements. 

Here are my observations on the blue-border bill-circulatin' map:

  • The eastern dark blue border of the Missouri region, which includes southwestern Illinois, puts where I live right on the edge of psychologically siding with St. Louis or Chicago. This also can be seen by what baseball teams people root for. Where I live in East Central Illinois, Cardinals fans generally outnumber Cubs and White Sox fans (among the "locals"). 
  • Indiana is all kinds of cut up by borders.
  • I found it interesting that there is such a strong blue border down the middle of Wisconsin. Don't know what to think about that. 
  • There's a strong dividing line between Oklahoma and Texas. I've heard of this divide. 
  • In some respects, the blue borders among the original thirteen colonies indicate the traditional demarcations of the New England states, the Mid-Atlantic states, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. 

The second map shows viewers what cell phone data has to say about who we hang with. Interestingly enough, the call data confirms much of what the dollar data lays out for us: that Oklahoma vs. Texas thing, the Missouri region, and the colonial parochial hangover. The cell phone data provides finer detail about the Deep South, however. Mississippi and Louisiana get aligned, and so do Alabama and Georgia. That makes sense to me. I've always considered Alabama more like Georgia than Mississippi. 


Melissa Ames said...

I've never understood why the baseball preferences (and divide) of this region don't show up in the teams the locals root for in football. (They seem to be primarily Bears Fans, although the occasional Rams or Colts fan surfaces). Up where I live I explain it away as possibly a side effect of living in Big 10 college town. They cheer for the Illini as a the hometown college team and therefore it makes sense to then cheer for the local NFL Chicago team. Not sure...

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Yes, you'll see the random Rams and Colts fan around here, but it's mainly Bears. The Rams were an import from California at one time, so that could be part of it. They came in after loyalties were established. And the Colts, they're all the way over in Indy -- another state, another time zone.

Where I'm originally from, NFL loyalties seemed to be pretty evenly divided among Vikings, Bears, and Packers fans.

Of that trio, I rooted for the Vikes even though I find it abhorrent that football is played in domed stadiums.