US accdg to CA
February 26, 2004 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Equal Time: A New Yorker's Map and, of course, THE New Yorker's Map.
posted by wendell at 12:36 PM on February 26, 2004

Replacing "think" with education in the post; think our geographical education has been and is becoming worse. Which has been a pointed out problem in our education system since the early 80's. Remember being told after moving to Texas: the problem with ya Californians is you live so close to the District of Columbia.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:49 PM on February 26, 2004

That reminds me of this link...Grade 3 Geography Test
posted by bobo123 at 1:10 PM on February 26, 2004

In a recent roadtrip "out west" I was shocked and amazed at otherwise normal educated adults who didn't know where Maryland was. Most people thought it was in New England. Just like the FPP says, it is no joke. These were otherwise normal educated adults, are things that bad? The NY Map is tongue in cheek, I'm not so sure about the CA perspective.
posted by stbalbach at 1:43 PM on February 26, 2004

stbalbach: I'll agree that far too many Americans are geographically illiterate... but what you bring up is a different sort of problem: "New England" is a region... and an ill-defined one at that, just as the "South" is fairly ill-defined. Until I went back east and understood the distinction, I just assumed "New England" referred to the northern half of the original colonies.

I mean, can you tell me _exactly_ which states comprise the "Midwest"?

Anyway... just a nit.
posted by silusGROK at 2:03 PM on February 26, 2004

(Even now I'm not entirely sure whether New York is considered New England or not.)
posted by silusGROK at 2:06 PM on February 26, 2004

I've long held that I can guess where someone grew up by asking them about the location of different regions of the US. Californians think Ohio is on the east coast and Montana is in the Midwest. New Yorkers don't appear to care where Ohio is since it's to far to commute from and Southerners think it's just "The North." And the people from Ohio? We knew geography real well, seeing that most children study maps of the US religiously while waiting to turn 18.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:15 PM on February 26, 2004

New England is composed of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. That is a fact. If you have been to those states you will see a distinct culture diffrent from anywhere else in the USA. Saying Maryland is in New England is like saying Texas is in the Northwest.
posted by stbalbach at 2:18 PM on February 26, 2004

Okay, after much more googling then I expected, here is a map of the US broken into regions.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:21 PM on February 26, 2004

Saying Maryland is in New England is like saying Texas is in the Northwest

No, it's much more like saying that Texas is in the South. Maryland is fairly close to New England geographically, but distinct culturally, just as Texas is very close to the South geographically, but distinct culturally. You only think the distinction is very clear because you live there.

The NE uses geographic terms fairly differently from the rest of the US. For example, I couldn't understand why so many New Englanders I know railed against the South (which I believed to be a very diverse set of cultures) until I realized that by "South" they don't mean "the bottom half of America" but rather "the bottom half of the east coast".
posted by gd779 at 2:44 PM on February 26, 2004

Even now I'm not entirely sure whether New York is considered New England or not.
I'm torn by this statement. On the one hand I live in New England so I'm tempted to respond: yah ahnt fruhm heah, ah yah? On the other hand, as a born New Yorker: Fuck you.
posted by TimeFactor at 3:40 PM on February 26, 2004

Don't omit the World According to Ronald Reagan.
posted by Zonker at 4:59 PM on February 26, 2004

McArthur's Universal Corrective Map of the World has a fabulous history, made by an Australian who was tormented for coming from the "bottom of the world". It was the first modern south-up map, published in 1979. Read about it at ODT.

Also, bottom == inferior is a social construct. The bottom could be the basis, the root, the fountainhead, the most important point.
posted by weston at 10:06 PM on February 26, 2004

The Midwest (aka the Middle West) has actually migrated over time. Originally the term applied to the states of the Northwest Ordinance, i.e. Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio; later it crossed the Mississippi and included the first tier of those states, Minnesota through Missouri or perhaps Arkansas. About 20 years ago a study found that the younger you were, the farther west you placed "the Midwest", such that today it's mainly the states of the Great Plains, even though culturally many of them are closer to the West (i.e. ranching) than the Midwest (i.e. farming, manufacturing). The region is used formally, today, somewhat less often than more descriptive ones such as "Great Plains" or "Great Lakes".
posted by dhartung at 11:10 PM on February 26, 2004

Midwest=corn and soybeans
Plains states=wheat.
South of wheat is cows and chemicals, south of corn is tobacco and retirees.
East of corn are some hills, then teeming masses of people.
Every region has an orphan state, like West Virginia, Michigan, Arkansas, Idaho and Utah.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is convinced they are an island.
Every state correctly believes it is misunderstood by the rest of the country.
posted by dglynn at 12:24 AM on February 27, 2004

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