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A Noble Spirit Embiggens The Smallest Man.
July 20, 2006 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Check out this map of The Simpson's hometown of Springfield. We may never know what state the town is located in, and yes, the show has sucked for at least six years now (if not more) but this map was considered to be so good, it was, apparently, added to the Harvard Map collection. Comic Book Guy would be proud.
posted by Effigy2000 (53 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is great! I really like this one for the list of stores in the Springfield Mall.
posted by LeeJay at 11:25 PM on July 20, 2006


Related [earlier address]. Cool that Harvard added it. What section is it under?
posted by tellurian at 11:26 PM on July 20, 2006


Never mind, I got it. But they linked to the old address!
posted by tellurian at 11:31 PM on July 20, 2006


You had me worried for a second there, tellurian. Seems they not only updated the URL but the entire site too. At any rate, the new address explains why my search for the address pulled up nothing.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:43 PM on July 20, 2006


Quite a cromulent map, but I can't find the Maaaaaatlock Expressway.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:56 PM on July 20, 2006


I take that back. It's in grid...d'oh! It's in the top right hand corner.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:58 PM on July 20, 2006


And funnily enough, it ends right infront of 743 Evergreen Terrace.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:29 AM on July 21, 2006


And by 743, I do of course mean 742. *cough*
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:34 AM on July 21, 2006


Neat, with the understanding that the whole town is malleable based on what the writers need. This is sort of like mapping the inside of the Planet Express ship.
posted by sparkletone at 12:39 AM on July 21, 2006


Very cool. It's kinda crazy how much work has gone into this, especially to the extent that they even recognize how things move around all the time, and they choose the "most frequent" location.
posted by antifuse at 12:58 AM on July 21, 2006


Someone should turn that into a SimCity map.
posted by jiawen at 1:02 AM on July 21, 2006


Where's the tire fire? Where's the tire fire?
posted by Flashman at 1:05 AM on July 21, 2006


i swear i saw an episode where they said the state. it was real quick as and subtle. i was so shocked that's all i remember of the episode. this would've been about 8 years ago.
posted by andywolf at 1:07 AM on July 21, 2006


play episode 211 backwards. that's all i'm saying.
posted by wumpus at 1:26 AM on July 21, 2006


How many Springfields have harbors?
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 1:33 AM on July 21, 2006



i swear i saw an episode where they said the state.


Are you taking about the "Behind the Laughter Episode"?

In that, they said it was in Kentucky, although I think it was a joke.
posted by concrete at 1:46 AM on July 21, 2006


North Kentucky.

As in like West Illinois, or East Dakota, or South Oregon, or West Carolina.

Seemingly real, but ultimately less than a cromulent location.
posted by erskelyne at 2:14 AM on July 21, 2006


I dunno, I remember the Murderhorn being much, much taller than that.
posted by psmealey at 2:40 AM on July 21, 2006


Why are some locations in magenta and the rest in black?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:00 AM on July 21, 2006


I read somewhere that various clues pointed to their being in Masachusetts.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 6:17 AM on July 21, 2006


...but I can't find the link, sorry. Also can't find the Escalator to Nowhere on the map anywhere...
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 6:25 AM on July 21, 2006


i don't think the show has sucked for the last six years
posted by andrewyakovlev at 6:33 AM on July 21, 2006


This is awesome. Thank you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:34 AM on July 21, 2006


An excellent headline, I feel properly embiggened.
posted by Ber at 6:36 AM on July 21, 2006


Veterans of Popular Wars

Heh. I think I could spend hours looking at that map and just keep finding things to laugh at.
posted by orange swan at 6:43 AM on July 21, 2006


The 'Behind the Laughter' episode described the actors who play the Simpsons (themselves a family named Simpson) as a northern Kentucky family (southern Missouri in some later airings). Simpsons geeks consider it noncanonical, like the Treehouse of Horror episodes.

Much, much more here.
posted by box at 7:23 AM on July 21, 2006


What, no Ajax?

I kid, I kid, I've been reading metafilter for too long ;p
posted by stratastar at 7:32 AM on July 21, 2006


In so far as it can be said to be in any state, it's got to be Oregon. That's where Groening is from. Many of the characters are named after streets in Portland -- Flanders, Terwilliger, Kearney, Quimby, Lovejoy -- there may be more. Plus, according to this map, the city is bisected by a river. Much like Portland.
posted by TonyRobots at 7:43 AM on July 21, 2006


Ok, let me tell you guys. The Simpson's writers do not have some secret state that they have picked the Simpsons as being from, and are hiding from the public, dropping hints in random episodes that only uber-fans can put together.

They are, and are meant to be in Any-ville USA.
posted by stratastar at 7:57 AM on July 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've had this thing posted on the wall of my office for a while. It is amazing to me how many people actually look at it for a few minutes (maps don't usually get that kind of attention) and only then come to the realization that they are looking at a map of an imaginary Springfield.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 AM on July 21, 2006


In so far as it can be said to be in any state, it's got to be Oregon.

Also, wasn't the nuclear plant based on one in Oregon?
posted by antifuse at 8:29 AM on July 21, 2006


I hear references that Springfield is in the fictional state Takoma. In fact, I read somewhere that in certain episodes you can see TK in the state abbreviation on mail, but it might be a sly reference to TK as an editor's mark to add something in later.

Also, this is awesome, and insanely detailed.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:44 AM on July 21, 2006


Antifuse, nope, Trojan was in Washington, although very close to the Oregon border. It was recently imploded!
posted by peep at 8:47 AM on July 21, 2006


I simply cannot stop laughing at "Armistead Mopeds." I just can't. This is awesome.
posted by logovisual at 8:48 AM on July 21, 2006


It's a Wonderful Knife

(oh, and the tire fire is ex carta, lower right)
posted by Flashman at 9:08 AM on July 21, 2006


Looks kinda like Los Santos. But maybe I've just been playing too much GTA (when I used to have power).

Interesting similarity, since I've also been playing Simpsons Hit & Run, which of course feels very similar to GTA, but as far as I can tell doesn't have a map. A lot of this map looks consistent with the Hit & Run world, some not.
posted by lampoil at 9:09 AM on July 21, 2006


I've had this thing posted on the wall of my office for a while...

Mitheral - Where did you get it??? That would make a great addition to my cube wall!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:44 AM on July 21, 2006


I printed it off on the 5500 at work. You could take a download of the big map to most copy places and they'd crank it off for you. Around here they charge a few bucks per square foot.
posted by Mitheral at 10:24 AM on July 21, 2006


I can't find Moe's!
posted by timsteil at 10:41 AM on July 21, 2006


Moe's is two blocks down and one to the right of town hall inside the monorail track.
posted by Mitheral at 10:51 AM on July 21, 2006


Not surprising. The Simpsons is pretty much written and produced entirely by Harvard grads. There are tons of Harvard in-jokes.
posted by bardic at 11:47 AM on July 21, 2006


It resembles Oswego, NY (a small town that nevertheless has a university, a nuclear power plant, a river and a harbor) rather surprisingly. Other than the airport being where my ex-wife's house is... which come to think of it wouldn't be that bad an idea...
posted by ubiquity at 12:30 PM on July 21, 2006


In so far as it can be said to be in any state, it's got to be Oregon.

I love the Simpsons' state conversation because it makes it sound as if these cartoon characters are actually living in a real state somewhere.
posted by lunalaguna at 12:33 PM on July 21, 2006


The episode didn't say "North Kentucky," it said "Northern Kentucky," which is what (in real life) they call the part of Kentucky just south of Cincinnati. An entirely cromulent region.
posted by obvious at 12:39 PM on July 21, 2006


and yes, the show has sucked for at least six years now

It only seems that way if you watch The Simpsons and nothing else. While it's decidely not as good as it used to be, it's still better than 95% of shows on the air.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:40 PM on July 21, 2006


No, no, it's gotten worse. Last year was a decided upswing, but some of that Ian Maxtone-Graham stuff sucked with a capital SUCK.
posted by graventy at 2:16 PM on July 21, 2006


nope, Trojan was in Washington, although very close to the Oregon border

Nope, Trojan was run by PGE (Portland General Electric) in Rainier, which is definitely in Oregon.
posted by geckoinpdx at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2006


It is Oregon, as far as I know. And Oregon does have beaches, deserts, forests, tire fires etc. Makes sense.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:37 PM on July 21, 2006


SPRINGFIELD ON THE USA MAP: their town appears briefly during the "Powers of Ten" cosmic-zoom show-open for episode 327. We start with the Simpsons family on the couch, then the camera flys up through the roof while looking downwards. As the landscape shrinks, we see their house, their neighborhood, etc., and their whole town positioned on North America ...right at Springfield Illinois. (Or perhaps this is just a cop-out, not a clue?)

See: The Ziff Who Came to Dinner under "couch gag"

PS., the Springfield map seen briefly during the cosmic zoom does vaguely resemble the mapofspringfield.com map.
posted by billb at 3:13 PM on July 21, 2006


geckoinpdx writes "Nope, Trojan was run by PGE (Portland General Electric) in Rainier, which is definitely in Oregon."

*hides head in shame*

I am truly mortified at myself. Of course you are right.
posted by peep at 4:12 PM on July 21, 2006


well, i enjoy the current incarnation of simpsons. harry shearer said a couple years ago at the full frame documentary film festival that the voice people were getting kind of frustrated with the decline in comedy. harry asked if they'd like his help on writing, but they declined. he shrugged it off and literally said "your loss!"

that said, it's completely surreal to actually hear mr. burns in front of you.
posted by virga at 6:05 PM on July 21, 2006


I read somewhere that various clues pointed to their being in Masachusetts.

I'd believe it if Homah drank at Moe's Tavin, Baht didn't talk like a Califonya surfah, and Mahge took the family to doctah Hibbit.
posted by mubba at 6:40 PM on July 21, 2006


I can see my house from here.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:38 PM on July 21, 2006 [3 favorites]


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