Bill Rankin’s 2013 Map of “The Midwest”

A colleague recently tipped me to a Bloomberg Media article about radical cartography, focusing on an interview with Bill Rankin. Before I moved to Michigan from Tennessee, I would never have considered that some people and agencies would consider the latter to be a part of the Midwest. According to Rankin’s aggregate map (below), the region stretches from Ohio to the Rockies, though I don’t know if people who live in the Plains region universally consider their states as “Midwestern.”

In my mind’s eye, I consider Pittsburgh to be the Eastern gate into the Midwest region from Appalachia, which separates the East and Mid-Atlantic from the Midwest and South. Of course, having lived in Syracuse for several years, I consider Western New York to be part of the Midwest, too, and it barely even registers on Rankin’s rendering.

Huh.

Storage Wars: CSULB Edition

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The one folded back into a book. Early settlement patterns of colonists in the United States, pre-1700.

My friend David and I decided to rummage through our department’s storage pit, unearthing a ridiculous bounty of USGS Maps from the post-War era that covered everything from climate to topography, as well as innumerable other classroom treasures from over forty years ago. It’s crazy just how much physical material passed through a typical Geography department before the digital revolution; I can understand why nobody was particularly sad to transition to zeros and ones. Still, we barely found anything that wouldn’t look awesome on someone’s wall. We’re currently thinking about doing a CSULB antique map show somewhere in Long Beach this spring.

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We found a beautiful hand-drawn map of Hungary on the back of a classroom map of Europe. If you had any hand in this, contact me so we can give credit.

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