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The Universal Measure of Land Area
May 16, 2013 6:14 PM   Subscribe

As you may know, large areas are measured in Rhode Islands. For example. Now a handy web site will tell you how big countries are using this vital geographic method. Plus, you will learn some fun facts about Rhode Island.
posted by GenjiandProust (56 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
About 42 Rhode Islands would fit in Greece.
Room for another 41 then.
posted by Jehan at 6:21 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Countries? Pfft. The King Ranch is 1.04 Rhode Islands.
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 6:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I prefer the What Fits Into Russia method.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I measure lengths in football fields, unless they are really long lengths, in which case I measure them in "number of times to the Moon and back" units.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:37 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I tried with yo mama but it couldn't compute. Guess this is the division by zero of cartography.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:37 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's fine if you're only worried about two-dimensional spaces. But once you get depth in there, you'll be needing the services of Turkey Volume Guessing Man!
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:39 PM on May 16, 2013


About 0 Rhode Islands would fit in Liechtenstein.

Well, I really can't argue with that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:43 PM on May 16, 2013


But do Rhode Islanders really fit in when they are in a country such as Yemen or Zimbabwe?

There are sociological issues here, not addressed by this web app.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:46 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


About 42 Rhode Islands would fit in Greece.

That's because of all the extra room left by Greek people operating pizza places in Rhode Island.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:46 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


But do Rhode Islanders really fit in when they are in a country such as Yemen or Zimbabwe?

Sadly, it's a one-way function, like hashing a password: you can only scale other areas in Rhode Islands, and not put Rhode Islanders into other places.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2013


Countries? Pfft. The King Ranch is 1.04 Rhode Islands.

Yep, I got one of them trucks too.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:49 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


About 13 Rhode Islands would fit in Denmark.

When I was taking Danish, we watched these Consider Denmark videos, which were meant to recruit foreign investment to Denmark, mostly as a laugh. (I think the teacher thought it was a good idea because they showed, well, Denmark and since the textbook had been written for use in Denmark, as there's not much call for Danish textbooks many places, it lacked pictures of Denmark. But then it became a joke.) Without fail, each video would describe Denmark as 'small', 'tiny' and on one notable occasion 'minuscule'. I suppose the makers of those videos will be pleased to know Denmark is a whole 13 times bigger than Rhode Island. Unless being small was meant to be a selling point.
posted by hoyland at 6:52 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yep, I got one of them trucks too.

Exactly my first thought too.
posted by DU at 6:57 PM on May 16, 2013


My entire postgraduate studies were funded by a grant that required me to study issues such as this. I was a Rhodes scholar.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:03 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a variable message board on I-95 south in Pawtucket that in addition to displaying the estimated travel time to the AIRPORT, also displays the estimated travel time to STATE LINE, a.k.a Connecticut. It's usually in the 35-45 minute range.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:07 PM on May 16, 2013


Rhode Island is 1,545 square miles, which is good to know if you want to use Google to find out how many square Smoots the state is.
posted by adamg at 7:08 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sorry, we don't seem to have area data for "rhode+island". Please refer to the map.

No, no. The correct answer is that 1 Rhode Island would fit into Rhode Island.

If I can't calibrate this tool properly, I can't tell if it's accurate.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:11 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sorry, we don't seem to have area data for "Alaska". Please refer to the map.

Isn't that always the way.
posted by rhapsodie at 7:22 PM on May 16, 2013


Rhode Island is 1,545 square miles...

Hah! I went to summer camp on an island in a lake that big (and another summer I went hiking on an island in a lake twice that size)!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:31 PM on May 16, 2013


Is the Rhode Island an SI unit? (the Ri?)

Canada is 3.2 kRi

The surface of a hockey puck is 1.7 pRi.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:32 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Of the examples they gave, this is my favorite:
So what you're saying is, I mean, [home umpire] Phil Cuzzi may have a strike zone the approximate size of Rhode Island tonight, but it looks like he's going both ways with it.
- Dave O'Brien in a discussion on WB-11, New York. Mets at Yankees, June 24, 2005.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:35 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno if Rhode Island would be the best to use as a measurement. Too many curvy bits and islands. If you're looking for ease of use, you really want to go with a Midwestern state.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:40 PM on May 16, 2013


If you're looking for ease of use, you really want to go with a Midwestern state.

I wouldn't really consider Colorado and Wyoming Midwestern.

Of course, I'm pretty sure they're just dividing by the area of Rhode Island, not tiling with Rhode Islands, so the actual shape is irrelevant.
posted by hoyland at 7:45 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I swear there should be a reference for this other than h2g2, but I love that h2g2 lives on and occasionally becomes relevant: The 'Wales' and the 'Belgium' as Units of Measurement.
posted by hoyland at 7:49 PM on May 16, 2013


Fun fact about Rhode Island: we hate all of you and Anne Hathaway too.
posted by yerfatma at 7:49 PM on May 16, 2013


22 Rhode Islands in Ireland? But isn't Ireland about the same size as Maine? Surely that can't be right.
posted by Diablevert at 7:58 PM on May 16, 2013


We can tell that you hate us and want us to leave, because that sign giving times to the airport and the state line is basically the only road signage in the state
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh God Rhode Island is the best! This type of measurement is So Important and I feel like using Rhode Island in this way really captures the zeitgeist of the state. In fact, I believe so strongly in the supremacy of Rhode Island that today at work I got into a, well...not a fight, exactly, but a heated and passionate exchange of ideas during which someone threw a highlighter across the room because it was suggested that Rhode Island wasn't the best state. It was me. I threw the highlighter. At someone's head.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:00 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I dunno if Rhode Island would be the best to use as a measurement. Too many curvy bits and islands. If you're looking for ease of use, you really want to go with a Midwestern state.

Part of the benefit of RI as a unit of measure is that it's variable. The state is roughly 30 x 50 miles, giving 1500 square miles. But, if you leave out the Bay and the little islands, though, it's closer to 1000 square miles. So "about the size of RI" can mean anything from 800 to 1800 square miles. Let's see Colorado be so flexible!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:17 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Took me a while to find a country approximately 1 Rhode Island. To sort-of keep it for those who might be keen to guess, I'll put their wiki page here:a country 1 Rhode Island in size.

There may be others, but this is the first one my brain successfully hit upon.
posted by stevis23 at 8:19 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Needs more coffee milk.
posted by padraigin at 8:26 PM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


This all just seems like a lot of LOL RhodeIslandAmIrite?
I thought we were supposed to be nicer around here.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:28 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of course, I'm pretty sure they're just dividing by the area of Rhode Island, not tiling with Rhode Islands, so the actual shape is irrelevant.
posted by hoyland at 21:45 on May 16 [+] [!]


Rhodes Island, surely.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:05 PM on May 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


22 Rhode Islands in Ireland? But isn't Ireland about the same size as Maine? Surely that can't be right.

Maine is about the same size as all of the other New England states put together.
posted by maryr at 9:15 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]




The California county I grew up in would fit 3.3 Rhode Islands. OTOH, you could fit 25 of the California county I now live in within Rhode Island.

In other news if you type "placename" area into google, it returns the area. Kinda cool.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:21 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know what's fun? Having to take "Rhode Island History" in 8th grade and learning every town and county on the map... and even a few that don't actually exist, like South County - although everyone knows if they live there or not. Hooray for being a direct descendent of Roger Williams and 4th generation URI grad!

Add more clamcakes. And how many Rhode Islands large is Nibbleswoodaway?
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:31 PM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I measure lengths in football fields, unless they are really long lengths, in which case I measure them in "number of times to the Moon and back" units.

I've never understood why popularizers use the latter, since hardly anyone has a realistic idea of just how far it is to the moon. I mean, I do but I still tend to visualize it as being like six Earth diameters when in fact it's more like five times that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:46 PM on May 16, 2013



But do Rhode Islanders really fit in when they are in a country such as Yemen or Zimbabwe?


I'd like to speculate on what famous Rhode Islander HP Lovecraft would say in that situation, but I don't think its even possible for me to be that racist.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:49 PM on May 16, 2013


I'm establishing the world's first forex for unit areas. As everyone in the UK knows, the unit of land area is the Wales. This means that hedging and arbitrage are plausible, albeit on long time scales. Given isostatic rebound, I've gone long on Wales vs RI, and by the time the sun eventually swallows the Earth I will be a squillionaire.

God rest John Maynard Keynes.
posted by cromagnon at 12:00 AM on May 17, 2013


I'm still trying to figure out how many Libraries of Congress my hard drive is.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:10 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


As you may know, large areas are measured in Rhode Islands.

Unless you go imperial, than it's the Wales.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:37 AM on May 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Somebody's not reading all the comments ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:13 AM on May 17, 2013


It can also be the Isle of Wight, 148 square miles. (Wales is quite large at 8000 square miles, so not always practicable).

There should be a scale of these things, from football pitches to Earths, together with proper abbreviations and prefixes - so how many megaRhodes in one Earth, or how many nanopitches make one penny. There would, of course, be two parallel but annoyingly hard to convert lines, one for Imperial, one for metric, and probably some areal/volume conversion too.
posted by Devonian at 4:34 AM on May 17, 2013


Ah, the Wales and the Belgium...

Of course, The Register is responsible for maintaining the official[citation-needed] journalistic measurements...

Besides, how can you measure an area in Rhode Islands when a chicken is clearly a measure of volume...?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:40 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tries "England" and then "UK" = "Sorry, we don't seem to have area data for "UK". Please refer to the map."

Wow, my country is no longer a country according to these people.
posted by marienbad at 5:13 AM on May 17, 2013


marienbad: Try "United Kingdom".

77 Rhode Islands, FYI
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:18 AM on May 17, 2013


Similarly, "US" doesn't work, but "United States" does.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:19 AM on May 17, 2013


Yeah, kinda got it working. I get the UK then a line and it says Rhode Island is between the Netherlands and Belgium. Hahahahaha unlucky.

/small caps - just kidding.
posted by marienbad at 5:36 AM on May 17, 2013


If you're going to use football fields, you'll have to specify whether you're using the metric ones or not.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:57 AM on May 17, 2013


Besides, how can you measure an area in Rhode Islands when a chicken is clearly a measure of volume...?

Why do you think the Rhode Island Red is the state bird?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:52 AM on May 17, 2013


I'll tell you what I love about RI: People still need only seven digits to give you their phone number.
posted by whuppy at 8:18 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Or you could just go down this list on WPedia and then do an edumacated guesstimate. EG Rhode Island is about 10 Liechtensteins, or about 75 Naurus.
posted by Twang at 8:58 AM on May 17, 2013


whuppy - that's not all that unusual. It's also true for Vermont, Wyoming, Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, Saskatchewan (until next Saturday?), all of the Maritime Provinces, and both Dakotas.

Vermont has a whole state pride thing going on about it. I saw waaaaay more of these on cars than I would have expected last weekend. Especially since those cars already have a pretty good way of identifying them as being from VT.
posted by maryr at 6:11 PM on May 17, 2013


Especially since those cars already have a pretty good way of identifying them as being from VT.

I actually just saw a Vermont license plate that wasn't all green. It had a picture of a mountain lion and some other stuff on it. I don't know if Vermont just redesigned their license plate for maybe the first time ever or if it was a special plate. Or maybe just fake.
posted by hoyland at 8:30 AM on May 18, 2013


It had a picture of a mountain lion catamount and some other stuff on it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:31 AM on May 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


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