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.