How many US cities can you name?
October 1, 2019 4:59 AM   Subscribe

This game is deceptively simple: name as many US cities as you can. They show up on the blank map, and you also get a bunch of statistics to motivate you. Be warned: this WILL suck up many hours of your life and can be extremely addictive. Via Sasha Trubetskoy
posted by KTamas (237 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
So this is where I'm currently at:
You named 144 cities, with a total population of 50,662,221 (16.40% of the national population in 2010).
I did finally get "9 out of 9 (100.0%) cities with over 1,000,000 people" and anecdotally finding the 9th one can be challenging and frustrating (it was for me and for a few other friends). I still only have 44 states out of 50 but I don't live in the US the first place. So far I spent like 3 hours with this lol.
posted by KTamas at 5:01 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


This is going to eat my life, but also, this would be a lot easier to deal with if it didn't enforce proper capitalization.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:20 AM on October 1 [6 favorites]


For some reason this completely turns off my ability to remember state capitals! I'm like banging my brain against a wall trying to remember cities I know perfectly well.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:27 AM on October 1 [6 favorites]


I'm at 31 out of 33 over 500,000 and those last two are killing me. I suspect they are in the category of "big city that flies under the radar because it is close to a bigger city that has more name recognition" in California, Texas or Florida.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:33 AM on October 1 [5 favorites]


> jacquilynne: This is going to eat my life, but also, this would be a lot easier to deal with if it didn't enforce proper capitalization.

And punctuation. I'm looking at you, "St." cities.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:37 AM on October 1 [16 favorites]


Now it seems like it isn't enforcing capitalization, so maybe I was making other mistakes in those ones.

I managed to get one city in all 50 states (damn you, Vermont) so now I'm going to work.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:40 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I keep typing in the names of small towns and it picks a small town with the same name as the one I'm thinking of, but in a different state. I had no idea there were more than one of some of these towns.
posted by Ampersand692 at 5:47 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


TIL I can't spell Tucson
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:47 AM on October 1 [13 favorites]


Okay I'm at "202 cities, with a total population of 61,966,179 (20.07% of the national population in 2010)." -- 20% is respectable, I quit!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:56 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Oh no, I'm about to pour hours into this... But I'm not even at work today.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:57 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


"You named 245 cities, with a total population of 63,063,194 (20.42% of the national population in 2010)."

My brain is bleeding and I am dead
posted by sugar and confetti at 5:57 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


OHHHH but I got 32/33 second-tier cities and I can't quit now god dammit
posted by sugar and confetti at 5:58 AM on October 1 [7 favorites]


the whole of central USA is blank for me, I didn't realise how little I knew about uh.. Dakota? Wyoming?

I just keep typing in cities from the UK and there's always at least one in the US
posted by Chaffinch at 5:59 AM on October 1 [12 favorites]


Oh yes I used the UK trick too as well as major European cities, airports and cities that have been in the news (which can make you sad and/or angry so be warned of that one...)
posted by KTamas at 6:02 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Granted I'm not American so maybe I'm missing something, but the text field says "Try New York City", but it only accepts "new york" and not "new york city". Likewise it accepts "washington" not "washington dc".

"this would be a lot easier to deal with if it didn't enforce proper capitalization"

Does it? I can enter all lowercase OK.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:02 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


I really wish it would show you the population when you mouseover the circles.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:03 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


iirc it accepted "washington, dc" the comma is the separator for the state.
posted by KTamas at 6:03 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


WELL, I feel stupid because I eventually got the 33rd city and it's the one that's like 30 miles up the road from where I live
posted by sugar and confetti at 6:08 AM on October 1 [7 favorites]


Is Springfield a gimme for every state?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:10 AM on October 1 [7 favorites]


UK people: If you want to grow your numbers really slowly, name every UK town or city you can think of and watch the tiny dots fill up on the east coast.
posted by biffa at 6:11 AM on October 1 [19 favorites]


Early colonists were really unimaginative, huh?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:12 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


I'm at 128 total, but with all states and DC accounted for, plus all 33 500K cities, and I'm going to call it a day. 91/282 on the 100K.
posted by LionIndex at 6:13 AM on October 1


Needs more Wakko.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:14 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


If a UK city doesn't work as is, putting "New" in front of it might get you something. I've driven through two New Londons this week.
posted by LionIndex at 6:15 AM on October 1 [5 favorites]


Oh yes I used the UK trick too as well as major European cities, airports and cities that have been in the news (which can make you sad and/or angry so be warned of that one...)

You can get a lot of out of random ass guessing. Right now my smallest city (unlikely to be topped) is Adamsville, PA, population 67, which I have never actually heard of. You'll also get some mileage out of cities of the classical world/bible places.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:16 AM on October 1


I take your Adamsville, PA and raise New Amsterdam, IN with pop. 27! (yes obviously it was a random guess)
posted by KTamas at 6:18 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


I keep typing in the names of small towns and it picks a small town with the same name as the one I'm thinking of, but in a different state.

The problem I have is that I then try to add the state abbreviation for the town I'm thinking of, but it doesn't recognize it.

(There IS a Marion in Massachusetts, you stupid game! MY BROTHER LIVES THERE, dammit!)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Oho! I only know Marion, Ohio because it's the birthplace of Warren G. Harding. I know a lot of useless trivia about Warren G. Harding. His middle name is Gamaliel. GAMALIEL.
posted by sugar and confetti at 6:30 AM on October 1 [11 favorites]


I don't quite get the criteria for towns being included. Vernon, Connecticut is a real place, but is not included. It's got almost 30,000 people. On the other hand, the previously mentioned New Amsterdam, with it's 27 people is included. I know I've run into this with more towns than just Vernon, but that's the one that really stood out to me.
posted by Hactar at 6:34 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


My 8-year-old son is obsessed with geography and loves this game.
posted by papercake at 6:36 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I found it to be kind of wonky in New England? Like it wouldn't give me Narragansett, RI or Holderness, Sandwich, or Moultonborough, NH.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:36 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Got over 3% of the US population just by typing in UK cities. Do better, America! I feel like there's three types of city names in the US: European Cities, Devil's [x], or the dude who founded it-sville.
posted by Chaffinch at 6:36 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Don't make fun of Devil's Dingus, Chaffinch. Only WE get to do that.
posted by sugar and confetti at 6:37 AM on October 1 [6 favorites]


Are we doing the "smallest city" recognized? Furnace Creek, pop. 24.
posted by notsnot at 6:40 AM on October 1


Seems like some cities require the state - "Baltimore, MD" but not plain "Baltimore".
posted by notsnot at 6:41 AM on October 1


carson city, nevada is also not recognized which is just really weird. i wrote an email to the developer.
posted by KTamas at 6:42 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Damn. I thought Cylinder in Iowa with pop. 88 was good!
posted by kariebookish at 6:43 AM on October 1


European Cities, Devil's [x], or the dude who founded it-sville.

If you head South a little you also get a fair amount of "Irredeemable-racist-ville".
posted by The Bellman at 6:44 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


I couldn't get Carson City, NV to take either -- it was very annoying!

One thing that will get you a few cities is just typing in the names of states -- other states often have cities with the state names.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:48 AM on October 1


> Bulgaroktonos: I found it to be kind of wonky in New England? Like it wouldn't give me Narragansett, RI or Holderness, Sandwich, or Moultonborough, NH.

It gave me Hyannis, MA, but not Barnstable, MA which is exactly wrong.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:50 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


It is "Carson, NV".
posted by Rock Steady at 6:51 AM on October 1


Yup, plus I accidentally hit return tying Kansas City and it turns out there is also a Kansas.
posted by biffa at 6:51 AM on October 1


Oh, nevermind, that is Hyannis, Nebraska (pop. 182) that I got credit for. Still.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:52 AM on October 1


Carson, NV won't take for me, either.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:53 AM on October 1


strangely not even "Carson, NV" is working for me?
posted by KTamas at 6:53 AM on October 1


If you head South a little you also get a fair amount of "Irredeemable-racist-ville".

I also forgot the fourth category with names that give you a real idea of how the original settlers must have felt when they arrived there. Disappointment Lake, Bliss, Chilly, and of course Dick Shoot.

Plesae share your best ones, I got those from a quick google maps scan but I know there's better
posted by Chaffinch at 6:54 AM on October 1


"You named 362 cities, with a total population of 67,648,499 (21.91% of the national population in 2010)"

I can't believe I just typed in the names of 362 cities.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:54 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


(I could debug this by looking at the data but I refuse to spoil the game for myself for now)
posted by KTamas at 6:54 AM on October 1


I wonder if these are based on post offices?
posted by notsnot at 6:55 AM on October 1


European Cities, Devil's [x], or the dude who founded it-sville.

Don't forget the anglicized Native American phrases, from Assawoman Bay to the Withlacoochee.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:00 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Do a full reload on the page, the Carson City bug just got fixed!
posted by KTamas at 7:00 AM on October 1


49 out of 50 states what the fuck what state did I miss
posted by Automocar at 7:06 AM on October 1


Carson, NV won't take for me, either.

Worked for me, all lowercase though.
posted by dobbs at 7:10 AM on October 1


I just looked at the +100K list and there are SO MANY in California and Texas that I have never even heard of.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:11 AM on October 1


I’ve got 100 cities in 38 states (13% population) and I have to quit to leave for an appointment. I am woefully ignorant about state capitals.
posted by bookmammal at 7:14 AM on October 1


*slams down Tavistock, NJ, population 5, skateboards away*
posted by Tarev at 7:20 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


I got all 33 over 500,000! The holdouts for me were Columbus OH and Charlotte NC.
posted by uberfunk at 7:20 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I was going to go state by state until I got 100. Apparently the one state where I couldn't think of a city was Vermont.

Random Santa/Sans (Latinx name) will get you pretty far in the southwest.

I feel like Ohio is just completely filled with mid-level cities.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:22 AM on October 1


I am delighted that Climax, Michigan is included.
posted by wicked_sassy at 7:23 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I just got to 32/33 of the cities over 500,000 AND 8/9 of the cities over 1,000,000. I'm going to be so mad when I figure out that last one.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:30 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Are we doing the "smallest city" recognized? Furnace Creek, pop. 24.

Overpopulated, bustling, crowded.

*slams down Tavistock, NJ, population 5, skateboards away*

Still too overdeveloped. Try:

Monowi, NE (1)
posted by Wordshore at 7:33 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


ha i'd bet a dollar that i know which one that is, dinty_moore.
posted by KTamas at 7:35 AM on October 1


Update: I am so mad.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:38 AM on October 1 [5 favorites]


155 cities, 2.3% of the population. I’ve done Colorado, New Mexico, and half of Arizona so far. I may not have traveled much of the nation as a whole but I’ve been around most of the area of the four corners states.
posted by azpenguin at 7:42 AM on October 1


Names of flowers worked well.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:42 AM on October 1


It doesn't get all cities. For instance, it fails "London, TX." I can't be sure if this is because it's confused by London, or it just didn't know.
posted by ubiquity at 7:43 AM on October 1


For the 9th million plus city, I was staring at the space on the map swearing I could name it, and didn't manage to find it until much later.
posted by ambrosen at 7:48 AM on October 1


Yeah, I lost interest when I had to try four times for it to accept "Portland, ME" (Maine was an inappropriate answer, apparently).
posted by Grither at 7:48 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Also, there are 10 cities with populations over 1 million, at least according to wikipedia, so even their "stats" are wrong.
posted by Grither at 7:50 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


You can select the state from the dropdown if you don't want to type it, though.
posted by ambrosen at 7:51 AM on October 1


Monowi, NE (1)

Flat, AK (0). Boom.
posted by Mothlight at 7:52 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


This seems like a good place to point out that if all the kids in the New York City public schools got together and formed their own city it would be one of the ten largest cities in the United States.

And it would be totally awesome and -- if my present experience is any guide -- powered entirely by bubble tea and tik tok memes.
posted by The Bellman at 7:53 AM on October 1 [8 favorites]


Looked up Flat, AK on Wikipedia. Checks out.
By 1914, the community had grown to about 6,000 people, complete with an elementary school, a telephone system, two stores, a hotel, restaurant, pool hall, laundry and jail. However, by 1930, the population had declined to 124. No plat was filed for Flat, and the town site rests on mining claims, so the existence of Flat may contravene the law, but the U.S. Post Office acknowledged the community and served its few residents with an office until the year 2000. Between 1986 and 2000, the primary year-round residents were a family of five who worked together to maintain the area in the winter for mining in the summer .... As of 2010, it has no residents.
posted by Mothlight at 7:56 AM on October 1


I'm at 861, with 33/33 over 500k. I know I'm forgetting some in California and Texas, though.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:07 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


My holdout 33rd city, which occurred to me 45 minutes in, was San Jose, CA. I think one of the challenging aspects of this, particularly if you're trying to recall cities in parts of the country that you've never lived in, is when there is a suburb of a larger city that counts as a city with 500,000+ people. Fort Worth, TX, was a city I guessed somewhere in there, but lots of people, I would think, just think of Dallas if they don't have a lot of experience in Texas. Meanwhile, neither St. Louis nor Kansas City count, as the incorporated core city apparently didn't have 500,000 people in 2010.

But that's okay, there have been some threads on Metafilter where people write "Oh, I forgot Charlotte, NC, was a city! What a boring place!" even though the current estimate of the Charlotte MSA is over 2.5 million people. Yes, I live there.
posted by Slothrop at 8:07 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Help! I can't remember any except for Van Nuys!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:08 AM on October 1


I feel like there's three types of city names in the US: European Cities, Devil's [x], or the dude who founded it-sville

Don't forget random geographic features. I have to think a lot of Arkansas was named at 4:30 PM on a Friday:

Pine Bluff. Little Rock. Hot Springs. Mountain Home. Walnut Ridge. Mountain View. Lake Village. Mountain Pine. Western Grove. Pleasant Plains. Blue Mountain.

"It's only happy hour until six. Just slap what you see down on the map and let's get to the bar. We can change them later."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:09 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


It's wild to me that my 192 cities only got me 17% of the population. We're way less urbanized than I thought.
posted by hishtafel at 8:10 AM on October 1


Heck, Atlanta, GA, is considered to have a population under 500k by this quiz!
posted by Slothrop at 8:10 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


hishtafel - I think it's because you have to know all the suburbs of a given city to get its true population.
posted by Slothrop at 8:11 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


"We're way less urbanized than I thought"

Well, we're still very urbanized; it's just that there are more cities than you thought. There's a long tail.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:13 AM on October 1


It appears that Centralia, PA is not the complete ghost town I thought it was. 10 residents which, by the standards of some here, makes it a booming city.
posted by Hactar at 8:13 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Some years ago I competed in a motorcycle rally called the "I've Been Everywhere" tour. The goal was to go to the towns named in the song, over the course of the summer, and take a photograph of your motorcycle and your rally flag, in front of the post office or the city limit sign. Any town whose name is in the song counted. In the rules, they pointed out that there are 22 towns named Reno, in the USA. But there is only one Winnemucca, and only one Chicopee. Alaska is in the song and while you would assume the songwriter is thinking of the state, this event was focused on towns. Did you know there is a town named Alaska, in Michigan?

I was unfamiliar with this song until I signed up for this rally. But I suppose that list would work well for this web game, if you know the song.
posted by elizilla at 8:16 AM on October 1 [7 favorites]


They apparently decided to include the county of Arlington, VA. Arlington is a bit unique since it has no incorporated areas inside it, but it's still treated as a "county" by Virginia with some special changes. So I wonder what list they're using for "cities" (other counties in Virginia seem to not be included).
posted by skynxnex at 8:44 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I got to 160 or so pretty quickly, having lived in six big states with a lot of cities and traveled a good bit for work and fun.

Struggled to get to 180, but started thinking of minor-league baseball towns and got to 200. (Also, major-league sports cities will take you a *long* way population-wise and get you cities you might have missed. Won't spoiler it but there are some surprises.)

Was about to declare victory and retreat, but started just playing the alphabet game, and in 10 minutes or so was up to 260, 62 million people, 20.1% of population. Victory, retreat.... until I start plugging in all the small towns where I covered school boards and planning board, once upon a time... and find the elusive "Q" and "Z" towns..
posted by martin q blank at 8:45 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


They apparently decided to include the county of Arlington, VA. Arlington is a bit unique since it has no incorporated areas inside it, but it's still treated as a "county" by Virginia with some special changes. So I wonder what list they're using for "cities" (other counties in Virginia seem to not be included).

Yeah, I'm finding some surprising absences (New Canaan, CT, Van Nuys, CA) and don't know what the criteria for inclusion are that would miss them.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:51 AM on October 1


We're way less urbanized than I thought.

I think it's more that the game only counts populations within city limits. So, for example, when you type in "Cincinnati" it says the city has a population of less than 300,000, when the metropolitan area has more than 2 million people.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:53 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Well, Van Nuys isn't actually a city, for one.
posted by LionIndex at 8:57 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Finally crawled over the 20% line with 303 cities. For me, the wild thing was recognizing that there's a web in MN/NE/IA/WI/MO where I know all kind of small towns from driving around, and once it moves away from there, it's this mishmash of big cities, places I know from the news, and the kind of random little city names you just absorb here and there from reading or from pop culture (what up, Scranton).
posted by COBRA! at 8:58 AM on October 1


Also, doing this nearly triggered a fatal case of "it's right there on the tip of my tongue but I can't come up with it."
posted by COBRA! at 8:58 AM on October 1 [9 favorites]


Toledo, OH isn't coming up for me. Anyone else?
PS: 32/33. 500K. Arrrrrrrrrgh!
posted by martin q blank at 8:59 AM on October 1


I think it's more that the game only counts populations within city limits. So, for example, when you type in "Cincinnati" it says the city has a population of less than 300,000, when the metropolitan area has more than 2 million people.

Yep, exactly (even though there are quite a few wonky things where some independent incorporated cities still don't show up, such as New Canaan) -- it helps quite a bit if you've lived in/are familiar with a major metropolitan area and have a good memory for all the independent suburban municipalities in the area.

At least my list is definitely composed primarily of big cities in other areas and very long lists of municipalities in places I've lived (looking at you Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Santa Clarita, Malibu, Garden Grove...)

Toledo, OH isn't coming up for me. Anyone else?

I was able to get it to stick!
posted by andrewesque at 9:01 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


LionIndex: I suppose that would do it then, yeah. I think of LA like Queens, where every neighborhood is a technically its own city, but I guess that's not always the case.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:01 AM on October 1


My kid is fascinated by urban planning and geography so I've spent a loooot of time talking to him about city limits and what is "urban" and "suburban" and what is technically inside the city limits vs. what is not even though it totally still looks like the city. Pittsburgh has a TINY city limits and a much much larger metro-area. City is only about 300,000 but MSA is almost 2.5 million, all spread through a bunch of itsy bitsy little municipalities. It's a terrible way to run things, quite honestly.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:02 AM on October 1


The LA Metro area game of "is it a city or a neighborhood of LA" is always fun. For some people.
posted by LionIndex at 9:05 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Dammit, I thought my 82 person town (which wasn't a guess, I genuinely have been there!) was going to win but 27 beats it all to heck. I did 9 for 9 on the big cities so I am closing this up for the moment to do work.
posted by tavella at 9:23 AM on October 1


Grither: "Also, there are 10 cities with populations over 1 million, at least according to wikipedia, so even their "stats" are wrong."

I imagine they're using 2010 census data, when San Jose was still under a million.
posted by crazy with stars at 9:24 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I have finally managed two of my personal goals:

Got the last of the 33 cities over 500K (sorry, Louisville, KY) and got all my smallest cities list under 100.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:28 AM on October 1


Today I finally used the lyrics to Route 66 that were taking up space in my brain!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:39 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


There are a remarkable number of cities in NJ that aren't included for some reason, actual incorporated ones with more than a dozen people living there. Wonder what's up with that.
posted by asperity at 9:48 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


LOL, I was just going for all 50 states and was SO stuck on West Virginia for a long stupid time, and finally just selected WV as the state and started typing generic city names.

Apparently there exists a Salem, WV and now I am closing the tab, having covered 17% of the US population and 180 cities before making it to a single solitary one in West Virginia.

My smallest cities were all duplicate names of bigger cities that the site didn't know about for some reason.
posted by potrzebie at 9:51 AM on October 1


I was going demented at the seemingly arbitrary rejection of perfectly good answers, until I realised the state box somehow got set to Wyoming.

I also now realise that I somehow don't know the official name of the biggest city in the state of New Jersey.
posted by rollick at 9:52 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


it helps quite a bit if you've lived in/are familiar with a major metropolitan area and have a good memory for all the independent suburban municipalities in the area.

This. I got 518 cities and about 27% of the population, running up the score by naming oodles of random NYC suburbs (and to a lesser extent, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago).
posted by breakin' the law at 9:53 AM on October 1


Yup, plus I accidentally hit return tying Kansas City and it turns out there is also a Kansas.

That got me thinking and typing, and if I remembered the state song correctly, it looks like 18 of them have cities named after them.
posted by solotoro at 10:07 AM on October 1


I typed "Flat" as a random guess and was thrilled to hit a place with population 0, but am also really proud to have remembered Chicken, Alaska (population 7). One of my friends has a novelty license plate from there.
posted by oulipian at 10:08 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I spent about 2 hours on this and got "You named 319 cities, with a total population of 57,350,316 (18.57% of the national population in 2010)."

I've traveled a fair amount in the USA and that helps. I came up with a lot of city names by remembering trips I've taken and places I've passed through. For instance I've taken the train between NYC and Chicago many times, and my map shows that - Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and Buffalo making a nice little line across the top part of New York State. The places I've spent less time (Dakotas, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana) only have a few dots.
posted by crazy_yeti at 10:13 AM on October 1


It is fun to type in random words and see if anything pops up (e.g. Gross, Nebraska, pop 2)
posted by rollick at 10:15 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Songs help a lot too. I'm playing "I've Been Everywhere" in my head and got a bunch more city names (the North American version, not the original Australian version!). And a few other oldies like "Mention My Name In Sheboygan".
posted by crazy_yeti at 10:23 AM on October 1


Really trying to make it to 1000. I'm at 925 now, without any of the spoilers in here. The marginal difficulty is getting tougher.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:25 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Fishs Eddy, NY is apparently too small to count. See also: Orient Point.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:31 AM on October 1


"Townships" (like the one I was born in) don't make the cut, even though they often have populations much larger than some of these "cities".
posted by crazy_yeti at 10:33 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


9 out of 9 (100.0%) cities with over 1,000,000 people.
22 out of 33 (66.66%) cities with over 500,000 people.
58 out of 282 (20.56%) cities with over 100,000 people.
30 out of 50 states (60.0%) and the District of Columbia.

I seriously have just forgotten the list of capitals. I was at least able to get most of the major cities. Most of my cities are just the smaller places around places I've lived before. Most of em are Texas. I was surprised how few California and other ocean people places I didn't know, we get overexposed in media of those places yet I can't remember em much and tbh they kind of seem like fake places anyway. Sorry about the 20 states I didn't have any cities for, though it's kind of on y'all for not making a splash on the map.

Terlingua was my smallest city with a pop of 58. I know it only because we had a chilli burger named after it, at some restaurant I used to work at.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:35 AM on October 1


Surprise 1: Boys Town, NE was accepted!
Surprise 2: It didn't crack my 5 smallest list, although another Nebraska municipality (Herman) did!
posted by COBRA! at 10:40 AM on October 1


Sitting at 999 now...
posted by kevinbelt at 10:53 AM on October 1


And boom, West Seneca, NY puts me over the top.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:53 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Ooooooh, I love this so much. Today has been stressful and this is a really fun tab to have open--if a city name pops into my head during a meeting, I'll write it down and put them all on the list when I get back to my computer. Perfect trivia. Thanks for sharing this.
posted by witchen at 10:54 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I've thought about this a great deal, and I'm pretty sure there are no human settlements in New Hampshire.
posted by Naberius at 10:54 AM on October 1 [9 favorites]


Limiting my scope I made it up to 254 cities in New York and New Jersey (plus five other cities in MA and PA with the same name as NY cities - the state pull-down changes when you move the map).

I think Fishs Eddy is unincorporated, grumpybear69, which may be why it isn't listed.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:58 AM on October 1


This is the worst. Gnnnnnnh. I'm finding that I have to sneak the names around my brain block by using like, the name of the minor league baseball team in that town - e.g. there's a team called the Thunder, the _what_ Thunder?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:04 AM on October 1


I managed to get a city with only 6,400 people as one of my first!
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 11:07 AM on October 1


Imagine my surprise on discovering that Columbus is the largest city in Ohio by a wide margin, and in fact has more people than the two cities I would have guessed to be the largest in the state (Cleveland and Cincinnati) combined!
posted by Naberius at 11:14 AM on October 1


I stopped playing this game hours ago but my brain has been popping up with 'I JUST REMEMBERED MONTPELIER' (or the equivalent) every so often out of nowhere.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:14 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


49 out of 50 states what the fuck what state did I miss

For me it was Delaware that I couldn't figure out was missing. It was easy to miss on the map as the small state outline became obscured under the red from the cities nearby.
posted by exogenous at 11:19 AM on October 1


Yeah, DE, RI, AK, and HI are easy to miss just because of how they are on the map.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:21 AM on October 1


Reporting in from Michigan: Both Paradise and Hell are missing.
posted by kelborel at 11:29 AM on October 1 [5 favorites]


162 on my first pass, several states I came up blank, yes I tried Springfield and [State] City pretty much every time, and oh my god I think I'm supposed to do actual work today holy shit.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:33 AM on October 1


Anyone know how to delete a town from the list when it gives you the wrong state? I'm trying to only play with towns I have been to.
posted by elizilla at 11:38 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


aaaaand Skaneateles for 435!

omg i can't stop please send help
posted by kelborel at 11:38 AM on October 1


Second wind coming on. Got myself a tax return: 1040.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:40 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Smallest city I have right now is 195 people.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:56 AM on October 1


I never thought I was good at French spelling, but I honestly did not know how bad I was until I spent five minutes attempting to write Coeur d'Alene. (I did not succeed in five minutes; I googled it to avoid further timesuck.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:04 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Y'all, if you enjoy this sort of timefuckery, you'll waste hours/days/weeks of your waking life on JetPunk. Don't say I didn't warn/enable you.
posted by sugar and confetti at 12:08 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Well, I decided to spend my 20 minutes or so. A lot of people seem frustrated that it won't accept towns like Vernon, CT or neighbourhoods like Van Nuys, CA, but it's a name the city game. It's not their fault that the definition of a city is an arbitrary governance measure rather than something with stronger meaning.

But it's a little mean that they compare your total to the national population, since only 60% or so of the population lives in incorporated places (and only a subset of these live in cities as opposed to towns or villages or what have you). And the rules around incorporation are state-level, so it's unpredictable which metros are mostly incorporated. About a third of New York, Houston or Miami metro area residents are in unincorporated areas; about half of Boston or Philadelphia are; about two-thirds of Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore and Washington are. But LA, Dallas and Phoenix are in the single digits.

I didn't want to waste much time; after all, I'm home from work today. So I tried to be pretty efficient and rack up a quick score. I did 226 cities, with 22.66% of the national population; every state, city over 500K and half of the 100K+ cities.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:13 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


This is my time to shine!  Cycling across America through tiny towns set me up for this.  Between that, European/English towns, and the alphabet roster, I'm pootling past 400.  Still only 19% of the population though.

Clearly I've a mind filled with trivial information, but eh, what are ya gonna do?
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 12:14 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]


it also doesn't have linwood michigan (i was very disappointed about hell not being there too)
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:17 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I got Wasilla, AK, thanks to you-know-who.
posted by TedW at 12:18 PM on October 1


I got all 50 states and DC with 177 cities and I'm not even American or living in America!
posted by dobbs at 12:20 PM on October 1 [4 favorites]


"I got Wasilla, AK, thanks to you-know-who"

Levi Johnston? Portugal. The Man?
posted by kevinbelt at 12:32 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


A lot of people seem frustrated that it won't accept towns like Vernon, CT or neighbourhoods like Van Nuys, CA, but it's a name the city game. It's not their fault that the definition of a city is an arbitrary governance measure rather than something with stronger meaning.

The trouble is, it seems to not accept a lot of places that are cities, or at least not without twisting what possible orthography it's looking for.
posted by thegears at 12:40 PM on October 1


I am having trouble remembering a city where I spoke before the city council a few years ago. My brain. Why.
posted by asperity at 12:41 PM on October 1


Both Paradise and Hell are missing.

Purgatory, too: I keep typing in Breezewood, PA with no luck.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:43 PM on October 1 [5 favorites]


I swear I used to have all the state capitols memorized, but no, yesterday the only city in Arkansas that I could remember was Hope. THANKS BILL CLINTON.

I am still drawing a blank on literally any city in either Indiana or Delaware.
posted by epersonae at 1:11 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


"For me, the wild thing was recognizing that there's a web in MN/NE/IA/WI/MO where I know all kind of small towns from driving around"

Yeah, in Illinois and the surrounding states I can literally see the outlines of the highways I drive on the most often, and I can pick out my most common routes to and from the East Coast.

"But it's a little mean that they compare your total to the national population, since only 60% or so of the population lives in incorporated places (and only a subset of these live in cities as opposed to towns or villages or what have you). And the rules around incorporation are state-level, so it's unpredictable which metros are mostly incorporated."

Yeah I assume it's whatever data source got used, but it's totally using villages from Illinois (we only have "villages" and "cities," depending on civic governance, and 19 "towns" whose incorporation predate either statehood or county organization). And some unincorporated "towns" from NC work but others don't. And then in other states "villages" are subsidiaries of "townships" but "towns" aren't, etc. Some of this may even be county-level data, since I'm finding differences between different counties in IL.

"Purgatory, too: I keep typing in Breezewood, PA with no luck."
It's funny because it's true!

posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:15 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


I am still drawing a blank on literally any city in either Indiana or Delaware.

Well, you've already got the first seven letters of the IN state capital there...
posted by asperity at 1:21 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


CTRL-F sporcle

0 hits

Seriously that site is my go-to for occasionally replaying the same comfy-yet-frustrating geographical quizzes. One day I will finally remember all the countries/states/capitals of Europe/US/Africa/Asia/the world.

Definitely giving this one a go.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 1:26 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]


It's also counting at least some unincorporated areas. Silver Spring, MD, which is large, but incorporated, is on there. James City, NC is as well. I'm not sure where the data is coming from. Census designated places?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:28 PM on October 1


You named 115 cities, with a total population of 45,198,178 (14.63% of the national population in 2010).

I decided to stop at 115 because this is one of those things that will eat away my existence.
posted by wabbittwax at 1:55 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


2 hours. 408 cities. 71,322,064 population. Smallest Silver City, CA 0. 50/50 states, 9/9 for 1,000,000; 32/33 for 500,000, 141/282 of 100,000.
posted by brent at 2:15 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


You named 172 cities, with a total population of 60,244,355 (19.51% of the national population in 2010).
I live in England, so I don't think that's too bad. All the >500,000 cities and a city in every state.
posted by winterhill at 2:28 PM on October 1


I am still drawing a blank on literally any city in either Indiana or Delaware.

Well, you've already got the first seven letters of the IN state capital there...


A FACEPALM THAT COULD BE HEARD FROM OUTER SPACE {thanks}

also shortly after posting my brain went "Wilmington, that's a thing, right?" so I now have all 50 states at "You named 182 cities, with a total population of 52,424,097 (16.97% of the national population in 2010)."
posted by epersonae at 2:54 PM on October 1


Truth or Consequences, NM saved me some embarrassment in that state as apparently I don't know how to spell Alberquerque Albaqerque Albaturkey Albuquerque
posted by inflatablekiwi at 2:58 PM on October 1 [4 favorites]


I'm so cheating off you guys.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:16 PM on October 1


Truth or Consequences, NM saved me some embarrassment in that state as apparently I don't know how to spell Alberquerque Albaqerque Albaturkey Albuquerque

The spelling doesn't matter. The only important thing is that you remember to take that left turn at Albuquerque.
posted by wabbittwax at 3:30 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]


I learned today that I didn't know Montpelier was one word...

Smallest town has a pop of 9. Just random guesses of famous cities around the world.
posted by JenMarie at 3:39 PM on October 1


You named 266 cities, with a total population of 63,815,004 (20.66% of the national population in 2010)

9 of 9 big guys
32/33 500ks
45 states

Ugh, this is annoying now. I keep remembering cities, and I don't have the time to do it now...I'll be up all night.
posted by Chuffy at 4:15 PM on October 1




413 and I spent way too much time on it; got quite a few from my local area (60 some right there); liberal arts colleges...

also, if you put the state for cities where you know there's more than one (e.g. portland, and then portland, me); that will count as two; since the first is portland oregon.
posted by fizzix at 4:16 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


We have Terlingua and Study Butte, but no Lajitas?
posted by elizilla at 4:16 PM on October 1


I had to go to football teams before I got Baltimore.

My goal is to fill up California.

I'm drawing a blank on the Dakotas and I kinda don't feel bad about it.
posted by Chuffy at 4:19 PM on October 1


I'm drawing a blank on the Dakotas and I kinda don't feel bad about it.

Pierre, Bismarck, Akaska, Fort Thompson, Vermillion, Glen Ullin, Medora…that's where my trek across the U.S. by bike has proved handy. Passed through all of them and more.

The default entry for many of them seems odd, and doesn't reveal other cities of the same name unless you specify their state. I noticed that when Centralia, Washington auto-filled, and it refused to fill in the more famous Centralia, Penn. until I typed it out.

I'm closing in on 550 but it feels like cheating when you start realizing that if there's a North Bend, there's likely a South Bend too, repeatable for any geographic place name, and other names at times too. But it has me wondering how it works.  Is it generating a unique URL after only the first entry? Does that mean we could crowd source one?
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 4:39 PM on October 1


I'm drawing a blank on the Dakotas and I kinda don't feel bad about it.

But how can you forget about the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota?!

(North Dakota has Fargo)

I honestly feel like there should be a special achievement for spelling Albuquerque right on the first try.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:43 PM on October 1


I went home from work and did yoga to clear my head and so many fucking city names started popping into my head
posted by COBRA! at 5:04 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Stopping at 670 because I need to live my life. And because my goal of filling up Minnesota with little red dots just wasn't going to happen. Ended up with 9/9 over 1 million, 33/33 over 500k, and 170/282 over 100k.

All of that accounts for only 27.16% of the total population. Aside from some medium-size Rust Belt and Piedmont region cities I couldn't remember, that really drives home what a big portion of the US population lives in suburbs and bedroom communities... like Cherry Hill, NJ, with over 70k people which doesn't show up on the map because it's a township.

Also there are more small towns in the US than there are visible stars in the sky.
posted by theory at 5:28 PM on October 1


Doesn't work at all on iPad in either Safari or Chrome.
posted by bz at 6:46 PM on October 1


Sad to report that Castle Danger, MN is an unincorported township and does not appear on the map.

(They've got a good brewery)
posted by dinty_moore at 6:49 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]




Deadwood SD! My boss had a family reunion there this summer.
posted by lhauser at 7:55 PM on October 1


Really impressed with some of the numbers here. I only got 397, and probably ~50 of those were just from guessing names of presidents, trees, major crops. Did get 9/9 and 33/33 of the big cities though.

I would love if there was a way to see the largest cities that you missed. Or the closest to your home.
posted by equalpants at 8:42 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


You named 606 cities, with a total population of 127,558,342 (41.31% of the national population in 2010).

Actually 1,606, the counter only seems to handle three digits. That’s enough for me, I’ve already stayed up way too late.

It’s pulling official census names of cities, census designated places, and villages/boroughs/whatever might be incorporated in different states, so you get oddities like certain cities in Massachusetts whose official names are “Something Town” like Easthampton Town, Barnstable Town, Lameham Town, etc.
posted by otters walk among us at 9:28 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


I got 226 before giving up -- and I cheated on a couple (the spelling of "Albuquerque" completely flummoxed me, and I kept trying to say "Bakersville" instead of "Bakersfield" in CA). Really fun, though. Still down 3 of the cities with populations over 500k.

West Virginia is my holdout state. I am kicking myself because I know the MBMBAM guys are from there and they've talked about their hometown quite a bit but I just can't summon it.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:36 PM on October 1


You named 294 cities, with a total population of 65,744,928 (21.29% of the national population in 2010).

I got all fifty states and the large cities easily, 30 of 33 over 500k but I knew albeuqueureuqqque and wouldn't google. There were a few like that (woorchester MA, Another problem was how long I spent trying to spell Pasadena only to realize it was already in the list. Otherwise I got all the top 60 cities or so, except charlotte el paso and mesa before I started missing a couple beaches in the 40s. Even so, it's amazing how many places over 250k I have never heard of at all. Henderson NV? Chandler AZ? I'm going to bed.
posted by Cris E at 10:38 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


There's a joke about Pennsylvania towns that goes:

Intercourse is in between Blue Ball and Paradise.

Those are all real towns and it's geographically correct.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:53 PM on October 1


Apparently Nutbush is not a city, despite being a real place. Tina Turner lied.
posted by Chairboy at 4:10 AM on October 2


She said it was a city but I think she made it pretty clear there were limits to that definition.
posted by biffa at 5:08 AM on October 2 [2 favorites]


All the smallest towns I could think of and that it knew, were out west. I cudgeled my brain about why a place like Ckicken, with 7 people, would still be listed, and wondered if it was because it used to be so much more active? And what place is like that, east of the Mississippi? And I thought of one.

Thurmond, WV. It was once bustling, they serviced all the trains and had multiple banks and saloons and whatnot. I was there, about 15 years back, when they first put in a road to get there - they didn't used to have a road in. I walked along the tracks looking at the well preserved commercial buildings. There's even an Amtrak shingle on one of them.

It's in the database. Population 5.
posted by elizilla at 6:34 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Is it generating a unique URL after only the first entry? Does that mean we could crowd source one?

Yeah, that's why there's a different link for sharing to social media -- so people don't edit your own map. I accidentally started this new one this morning when the name Wakefield popped into my head, so if people want to crowdsource a Metafilter collective map, they can feel free to use it.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:16 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]


Quit at 301, with 18.91% of the population covered. Remembering all the suburbs around my hometown and current town, and some of the towns on my cross-country bike ride helped. I couldn't remember the names of any towns in New Hampshire, so I'm 49/50 on states. Was disappointed that it lacks Oatmeal, TX, but I see it is an "unincorporated community" now. It's fun to play the game where you put in the same city for multiple states, eg Evanston, IL and Evanston, WY, riff on names like South Haven, MI and New Haven, CT, or try to think of all the "San/Santa"s in California.

I thought I'd be able to just type in "Springfield" and call it a day, but it only gives you credit for one.
posted by adamrice at 7:44 AM on October 2


Springfields
posted by adamrice at 7:50 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I've spent quite awhile typing in combinations of colours and physical features. Blue Hills, Red Valleys, Black Mountains, etc. Also managed to get my lowest populations all under 30 people, with my lowest at 4.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:52 AM on October 2


There's a Green Mountain, Iowa, which seems ambitious. Population 126.

Added all of the choicest Wisconsin names I could think of off the top of my head to the communal map.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:57 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Sheboygan is such a great word. It just bounces as you say it.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:05 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I completely opened a new tab to google how to spell "Albuquerque," and I'm not ashamed of it.

My brain keeps spitting out the names of tiny towns I drove through in my youth in MS or AL, which don't really help population, and meanwhile I'm short 2 in the over-500K category and for the LIFE of me can't think of the name of any city in New Hampshire or West Virginia.

Anyway, currently 241, 59M, 25.85%. All the bigs. 31/33 on over 500k. 48 states & DC. 102/282 of > 100K.

I can't quit.
posted by uberchet at 8:15 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I accidentally started this new one this morning when the name Wakefield popped into my head, so if people want to crowdsource a Metafilter collective map, they can feel free to use it.

Don't mind if I do.
posted by box at 8:17 AM on October 2


CTRL-F sporcle

0 hits


Honestly, I thought Sporcle was dead. I haven't been there in yeeeeeeeeears!
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:27 AM on October 2


Geez. 15 minutes and now I'm up 20 cities, but only to 60.7M. Lots of tiny ones. Only 6 of those were over 100K.
posted by uberchet at 8:29 AM on October 2


Dammit, i couldn't think of that town on the Ohio-PA border that I drove through like 2 weeks ago, then it came to me: Sharon!
posted by e1c at 8:53 AM on October 2


Goddammit.

327 cities, 63M. 49 of 50 states. Still missing 2 of the 33 over 500k.

I openly admit I'm well into the "just type something that's probably a city" zone. For example; Junior, WV.

OTOH, turns out I was wrong about what state I was missing. It's RI.
posted by uberchet at 8:59 AM on October 2


I HAVE TO WORK. Christ.

400 cities seems like a good place to stop. Still only 65.8M, though, and still missing 2 over 500K. At least I have all the states now.
posted by uberchet at 9:22 AM on October 2


OK - I got to 1000!!! Can I stop now??
posted by crazy_yeti at 9:49 AM on October 2


I noticed that when Centralia, Washington auto-filled, and it refused to fill in the more famous Centralia, Penn. until I typed it out.

Centralia, PA is more famous but has a much smaller population. (Honestly, if people still lived in Centralia, PA you wouldn't have heard of it.)

Another one I noticed: Roswell auto-populates to Georgia (population 88k, suburb of Atlanta), not New Mexico (population 48k, but probably more notable - at least, I hadn't heard of the Georgia one before I moved to Atlanta and was a bit skeptical that that was the name of an actual place).

I think in general it auto-fills to the one with largest population. This makes it really hard to get anything in Delaware, because if you've heard of one city in Delaware it's probably Wilmington, but you won't notice that it auto-fills to the one in North Carolina because if you thought of Wilmington, DE you probably would have thought of Philadelphia as well and the Wilmington circle is entirely contained in the Philadelphia circle.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:39 AM on October 2


Since I couldn't remember how to spell Worcester, I just tried Wooster. That exists too, as it turns out (but in Ohio). (Probably should have guessed, I've got a friend who went to college there, but many colleges don't have towns that share their name).
posted by nat at 12:59 PM on October 2


while trying mountain names, i found out there's a trail, oregon
posted by gaybobbie at 1:42 PM on October 2


Up to 533, but the game tells me that only 169 of those are for places with populations over 100k.

I know the names of 364 piddly little towns, apparently.
posted by uberchet at 2:20 PM on October 2


Hooray, we hit 100M on the shared map!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:41 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Hooray, we hit 2000 cities on the shared map!
posted by box at 3:30 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I totally just sat and added ~150 cities to the shared map. It was interesting to see which out-of-the-way places were already marked.
posted by invitapriore at 3:52 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


How the hell are we still down 50+ cities with 100k+ population?
posted by asperity at 3:56 PM on October 2


We were nearly at 1,000 before we got all of the 33 cities over 500,000. One of the things I noticed about the shared map vs. the individual map is that it's harder to get specific cities, even if you get more cities overall. It's a lot easier on your own to realize you forgot Alsip, IL, but if you're looking at a map and the Chicagoland area is just a mass of dots, you skip over it. The map got populated fast enough that I couldn't tell which one of the 33 was missing, even though I'd gotten all of them on my own the day before.

Also, not enough of the 100,000 cities are mentioned in song lyrics. crosses off wilmette
posted by dinty_moore at 4:28 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Anyone else an alum of a Music Man production and go through the list at the end of Iowa Stubborn? Can't just be me...
posted by DebetEsse at 5:54 PM on October 2


In case anyone cares, Flat, AK apparently has 0 people.
posted by cacophony at 6:13 PM on October 2


What do you mean Wells, ME doesn't exist? I had blueberry donuts there and they were delicious and I refuse to admit that was a fever dream.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:24 PM on October 2


Also there are two Texarkanas. It's kind of there in the name.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:28 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Yep, adding Texarkana and Kansas City twice felt a little like cheating, but eh.
posted by invitapriore at 6:46 PM on October 2


Hooray, we hit 2500 cities on the shared map!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:47 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


Old Forge, NY brings us up to 3000 on the shared map.
posted by plastic_animals at 3:52 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


3288 and counting, I am so proud of y'all.
posted by KTamas at 5:23 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Anyone else an alum of a Music Man production and go through the list at the end of Iowa Stubborn? Can't just be me...

Yeah I did that early on. (Harold Hill, here; you?)
posted by sugar and confetti at 5:32 AM on October 3


Every so often I think I'm tapped out, and then I remember five more Chicago suburbs (Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Chicago Ridge, Chicago Heights . . ). How are there still more Chicago suburbs? This seems like it should be a more finite resource.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:30 AM on October 3


I got us to 3500 with Smithville MO.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:43 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


I'm over 99 million but it'll probably take me all day to get to 100 million.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:56 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


We're only missing six of the over 100,000 cities! My guess is at least one is a suburb of San Antonio.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:24 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


I just merged my list of 1000 cities into the communal one, bringing the total from 3669 to 3996 - an increase of 327 new cities which were not on the list, including Why, AZ, Zinc, AR, and Copperopolis, CA (places I've been), along with a lot of New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, and Mississippi towns. Of course, I did not type in 1000 city names by hand, I made a little script to screen-scrape the names from my map and fake-type them into the communal map. We're almost at 4000, folks! And we're up to 280 out of 282 (99.29%) cities with over 100,000 people.
posted by crazy_yeti at 8:03 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


It's up to 4,183 now. We have all of the over-500K cities and all but one of the over-100K ones. Unfortunately, the order seems to get scrambled every time I reload, so it's not easy to tell which were the most recent additions.
posted by crazy_yeti at 8:38 AM on October 3


The order seems to mostly to be:

1. Things you have personally added to your list since the last time you reloaded the page, newest at the top
2. A weird set of cities that aren't in the order below that might be corrections the programmer has made, since they include, for example, Carson City, NV which seemed to have problems before.
3. Reverse alphabetical by state (but by name, not postal abbreviation) / Reverse alphabetical by city within each state (but this alphabetization also doesn't seem to be based on the displayed orthography)
posted by jacquilynne at 8:50 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Just added a few from small town Southern Oregon. Doesn't increase the population count much though.
posted by JenMarie at 1:00 PM on October 3



You named 28,478 cities, with a total population of 224,913,485 (98.43% of the national urban population in 2010).


Of course, I only got this far by cheating (using automation). I didn't want to do it on the communal map because people might say it spoils the fun, but I wanted to see how far I could get. I'll be very impressed if anyone adds any more towns to this map! Where's the other 1.57% of the urban population hiding?

I think it's also really interesting to see the patterns made by populated areas - the density variations, the very sparsely populated areas like northern Maine and most of Nevada, and especially the way the towns seem to radiate out (along roads?) in the Great Plains states.
posted by crazy_yeti at 1:56 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


It took a lot of chasing suburbs, but I am pleased to announce that I've found the last city with over 100,000 people--it's Sterling Heights, MI, just outside Detroit.
posted by box at 2:18 PM on October 3 [10 favorites]


Wow, nice work! Doing this game taught me that I don't really know the vast majority of US cities in the 100-200K range, which is surprising to me. Even in California, where I live, I didn't recognize a lot of the names when I looked at a list of them yesterday.
posted by JenMarie at 2:26 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Nice, box!

Now all we need is one more "city" with a population of 0, and that box will be all 0s.

Oh, did y'all have other things to do with your lives? Sorry.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:27 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


I think I got just punished for cheating! I had posted a link to a map with 28,478 cities and 98.43% of the population - and all zeros for the smallest cities. And now it's gone!! I guess it's true that cheaters never prosper.
posted by crazy_yeti at 2:38 PM on October 3


I honestly thought we might make it to 5,000 without getting that last 100k city. Good job, Box!

It's interesting to see the difference between the size of the major city vs. population size of its suburbs. It seems like most suburbs end up 20-40k, but depending on the size and age of the city, they can support larger suburbs - and it seems like age has a lot more to do with it than current size, once you get past a certain point. So Detroit has a number of 100k plus suburbs, while San Antonio has a larger population with a ton of suburbs in the 5kish range.

(this is to say I was totally wrong about San Antonio)

I spent the day on data cleanup, so a few more small Minnesota town got stuck in my head (and then placed on the map). There's an Argyle, and a Pillager, and an Elbow Lake! Also a Viking, because of course.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:49 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


Went to town on towns in Kansas and eastern Colorado, just going down the highways. Vey satisfying.
posted by rewil at 4:01 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


30/33 500K+
117/282 100K+
26.69% of urban population.

Now clicking over to Wikipedia to rip my hair out about those remaining three big cities...

Austin, Charlotte and... either Tucson or Fresno.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:12 PM on October 3


I've been preparing for this test MY ENTIRE LIFE. I grew up poring over my dad's Atlas of the World, smashed dozens of cities in Rampage, and have an RSS subscription to Sporcle. It's my time to shine.

Starting in the Pacific Northwest, winding counterclockwise then northeast all the way to Maine (with bonus local knowledge from Alabama and Florida, where I used to live), I got up to 327 cities (~30% of the population), including all 50 states and all but one of the >100K ones (Sterling Heights, whut?). After a break I came back to spam random plausible names, states, presidents, European cities, Springfields in every state (there are 20!), and some random stragglers in a quest for 1/3rd of the population, and overshot it slightly for a grand total of:

You named 509 cities, with a total population of 76,833,370 (33.62% of the national urban population in 2010).

Smallest cities:
Centralia, PA (10)
Regan, ND (43) [typo!]
Cedar, MI (93)
Tennessee, IL (115)
Harding, MN (125)

It's funny how many places stick in your memory for one random-ass reason or another. Needles, CA from The Grapes of Wrath. The political hometowns: Scranton (Biden), Hope (Clinton), Janesville (Ryan), Wasilla (Palin). Local tourism commercials promoting Kissimmee-St. Cloud, FL. All the corporate HQ burbs: Cupertino, Mountain View, Bellevue, Emeryville. The Joplin tornado. The "Bowling Green Massacre." The record cold temps from International Falls. Geography can be quite the memory palace.

(Now do the world!)
posted by Rhaomi at 2:04 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Thanks to the Beavis and Butthead movie I was able to
name Bald Knob Ar. and Big Piney SD.
posted by JimSchu at 7:26 AM on October 5


I gave up for the night at 977
but I only got 8 of the 9 million plus cities
posted by JimSchu at 7:29 AM on October 5


Needles, CA from The Grapes of Wrath.

Also the residence of Snoopy's brother, Spike.
posted by exogenous at 11:05 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Think I got you all beat for smallest city that is not zero:

Thurmond, WV (5)
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:43 PM on October 7


True. I was proud to add Lakeside, CO at 8 (legit), but that beats it!
posted by asperity at 2:49 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Lily, SD is 4. I started typing in random flower names and got a few places.
posted by wicked_sassy at 11:15 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


An interesting article about Lily, via their Wikipedia page (popup warning for "Auction or Cattle Sale email updates"). The bottom of the article lists a few other places with single-digit populations in the 2010 Census.
posted by exogenous at 11:42 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Hobart Bay, Alaska, population 1!
posted by exogenous at 12:49 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]



I've been spending more time that I want to admit on this and got about .9% of the population today (so it's at 69%)...

I find it remarkable that the metafilter collective only has 69% despite having all of the cities that are more than 100,000...
if I recall correctly, it was as low as 40 or 50% of the total after we named all of them.

At this point, I think it's really a case of the long tail, getting cities that have <1,000
and cities whose entry for in its most populous state has already been entered (I wish entering springfield would have named ALL of them, not just one...)

... I was delighted to enter in Denison, tx and find that it had a population of 22k earlier today.

(for what it's worth, I've done quite a few minor league baseball teams, indigenous tribes recognized by the US Federal govt (which brought in a doen or 2)
posted by fizzix at 1:58 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


They don't count metro areas, only legally defined cities, so a lot of places have significant numbers drained off into suburbs and exurbs that even most locals don't know the names of.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:59 PM on October 9


I've been told a Europe version is coming in a few days. Can't wait.
posted by KTamas at 2:10 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Please post when it's ready! I'd be excited to try it.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:16 PM on October 11


It's up: How many European cities can you name? (MeFi post)

Still hoping for a global edition!
posted by Rhaomi at 11:18 AM on October 12


Spent almost five hours: still can't get that ninth city; astounded that my hometown of West Islip NY counts as a city; throwing in every possible noun and first name I can think of; making up saints names in English, Spanish, and French; have forgotten the capitals of Maine and Wyoming; somehow when I typed in Peoria it chose the one in Arizona; gone through every US president I can recall offhand; "seems like a Shelbyville idea" got me a TN city; still surprised no city is named Shakespeare; spent ten minutes trying to recall the hometown of Jake "the Snake" Roberts; really, no one named a city Caesar; decided that looking at the map for the European version to think of cities isn't cheating; Long Island is no longer visible under the circles; trying to remember sports teams and failing, could not recall the ivy league town in NJ, and when I finally typed in Princeton, the game chose FL.

601 cities.
66,338,607 (29.03%)
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 11:21 PM on October 12


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