« Real Revolution | Main | Name Names... »

Russia Is Big

Via Rox Populi a map of all the places I've been:

You can create your own if you're so inclined. Looking at the thing, it seems that my apparently well-traveled-ness is driven largely by the fact that Russia and Canada are so damn big. It's not as if I actually covered all that ground. If they'd used the standard Mercator projection rather than this more accurate (in terms of displaying area) projection, my voyages would appear even grander.

UPDATE: You can also do one for the USA.


Your map here. Mine bears a superficial resemblance to the 2004 election outcome, though it's a bit off. Somewhat more interesting is that I've barely ever been to a red county. Such blue states as New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland have vast red trackts to them, but I've only been to the blue parts. Even Norfolk turns out to have been in a Kerry county. Piscataquis County, Maine, seems to be the only Bush-majority jurisdiction I've spent non-trivial time in, though I must say that many other Maine counties counties don't exactly have a "blue America" ambiance to them. Which reminds me that I've been meaning for a while to muse over the apparent liberalism of the great state of Maine. Nowadays, you seem to find Democrats where you find either big cities or lots of black people (often the same places, but not always in the south) or major universities.

Maine's not so big on any of that stuff. And unlike, say, Vermont, it's not just a state that's totally inhabited by expatriate New Yorkers. If you drive around rural Maine you see lots of small churches everywhere and humble homes with American flags flying outside. These are the kind of places Democrats are always thinking should be voting for them, but where the much-vaunted cultural issues and the patriotism factor always seem to confound their dreams. But in Maine it works. And if it works there, why not in, say, Montana and other parts of the rural north?

March 25, 2005 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345160fd69e200d83422b19253ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Russia Is Big:

» The Places I've Visited or Plan to Visit in the Next Month from T.J. Lang
You Can Create Your Own. It says I've visited 7 percent of the world's countries. (Via Yglesias)... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 25, 2005 11:02:43 AM

» The Places I've Visited or Plan to Visit in the Next Month from T.J. Lang
You Can Create Your Own. It says I've visited 7 percent of the world's countries. Update: The United Kingdom and Jamaica are the places I have not actually been to but have plans to visit them soon. (Via Yglesias)... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 25, 2005 12:19:42 PM

» States Visited from Grubbykid.com :: Words
create your own personalized map of the USA I know I've posted this image before, but I can't find it. But here is a fun little web-toy where you can visualize what states you have visited. Unfortunately, this map is... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 25, 2005 12:43:13 PM

» Oh the Places You'll Go... from Provisionally Titled
I'm gonna join in today's blog game and post a map of the countries I've been to, as well as one of the U.S. states which I've been in outside of airport stopovers or driving through without getting out of the car. [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 25, 2005 4:24:22 PM

» Airports Totally Count from digamma.net - notes
Over at chez Yglesias, there's a discussion going on about when one can and cannot claim to have visited a country or state. The consensus is, as usual, that a layover in an airport does not count as a visit to its location. And, as usual, I am the ... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 25, 2005 6:14:44 PM

» More travelled than I thought from sbw
Fascinating website maps out your travels. [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 27, 2005 11:09:22 AM

» OK! from New World Man - put your message in a modem
As I prepare to head out to Oklahoma City to visit my company's cavernous headquarters, I was thinking about how I have two blogs on my blogroll based in Oklahoma, which got me to thinking about where the others were "from." I would never in a million ... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 20, 2005 12:06:51 PM

» OK! from New World Man - put your message in a modem
As I prepare to head out to Oklahoma City to visit my company's cavernous headquarters, I was thinking about how I have two blogs on my blogroll based in Oklahoma, which got me to thinking about where the others were "from." I would never in a million ... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 20, 2005 12:08:38 PM

Comments

I would imagine a map of the states you visited would look more like a 2004 Electoral map, reversed if using the same colors.

Posted by: theCoach | Mar 25, 2005 10:41:34 AM

yeah, that's not as interesting as the states one would be, especially considering your admittedly limited non-notheastern travels.

Posted by: right | Mar 25, 2005 10:44:44 AM

hmm, yes Russia and the U.S. are big. But in the spirit of the above posters, why do you get to mark off the whole country once you've touched earth in one little corner of it?

What we really need here is GPS-enabled tracking to show our entire life's travels as a messy knot of lines.

Posted by: Mithras | Mar 25, 2005 11:06:11 AM

Next time you get to Finland, take a day trip to Estonia. Tallinn is a fine city, and it's another notch on yer map.

Posted by: Grumpy | Mar 25, 2005 11:09:16 AM

Dude, you've never been to Mexico? It borders us!

Posted by: Timothy | Mar 25, 2005 11:14:47 AM

But, China is bigger. And if you've visited Hong Kong, that reddens all of China.

Posted by: Roxanne | Mar 25, 2005 11:31:22 AM

They look bigger in that map projection. Look at Greenland it looks huge. Since the earth is a sphere, flattening it out makes northern and southern areas look larger, try a different map projection for a more realistic view.

Posted by: Judy | Mar 25, 2005 11:35:55 AM

Did you see that really stupid editorial in the Washington Post today on Harry Reid and Social Security?

I hope the Dems don't succumb to this cozy Beltway punditry. Dems should work on Social Security only with people who have the best interests of the program at heart. That pretty much rules out GWB and friends.

This deserves a restatement of the Gospel According to Matthew, I think.

Posted by: mysteve | Mar 25, 2005 11:50:19 AM


You really need to get an RV and take this blog on the road for a year or so. I think the results would be interesting!

Posted by: tom f | Mar 25, 2005 11:55:39 AM

I've known ppeople who actually keep track of the counties they've been in, with the ultimate goal of setting foot (or at least setting tire) in every county in the U.S.

Posted by: tom f | Mar 25, 2005 11:58:04 AM

(rant)

That's not a more accurate projection than Mercator. It's a different one: I think it's Plate Caree, in which you just project the spherical coordinates onto the rectangle with latitude = y coordinate and longitude = x coordinate. This has the advantage of simplicity, and also the fact that if you draw a line from (0, 0) (somewhere in Chad), the length of the line is proportional to its length on the Earth, so if you have one line from Chad and another line from Chad, and one is twice as long as the other, so is the actual distance on the Earth. However, it isn't conformal like Mercator (so Greenland isn't shaped anothing like Greenland on the Plate Caree), nor is it equal-area like Gall-Peters (so Greenland STILL looks to big relative to, say, Brazil). It's closer to conformal than Gall-Peters and closer to equal-area than Mercator, though. For general purposes, I think the best would be a non-cylindrical compromise map like Robinson, Eckert IV, or Winkel Tripel.

(/rant)

Posted by: Julian Elson | Mar 25, 2005 12:04:55 PM

My apologies. I didn't catch the "in terms of displaying area." Silly me.

Posted by: Julian Elson | Mar 25, 2005 12:08:28 PM

What are the regulations on:
1. airports
2. driving through but not getting out of your car
3. rest stops
4. motels

Posted by: JP | Mar 25, 2005 12:15:02 PM

Have you visited Israel? Oftentimes no red shows up in that part of the world even if the Israel box has been checked.

Posted by: Drew | Mar 25, 2005 12:15:19 PM

I can't believe you went to the North Pole! How exciting!

Posted by: Stephanie Hopkins | Mar 25, 2005 12:29:44 PM

JP raises a good point. I'd propose the following rules:
1.)Airports don't count, no matter how long your layover. Nor do train stations. For me, this is a gray area. I walked around the exterior of Chicago's Union Station one time, but I do not credit myself with a complete visit. However, when I went to Brussels, I walked from the train station to the city center, so I do count that as a legitimate visit.
2.)Some outside air is essential. Driving (or riding in a train) does not count, just as flying over doesn't count.
3.)Rest stops may count, if you consume an entire meal there. This can include soup, but only with crackers crumbled in it.
4.)Spending a night anywhere automatically counts as a visit. Buying a newspaper or using the toilet also add weight.

Posted by: Grumpy | Mar 25, 2005 12:55:01 PM

I think airports count. You're in the state, right? Why should they be different than any other building? Different airports have different styles and architectures to them (ever been to Denver's? Wow), so it's not like they're always completely soulless.

Also, Matt, haven't you ever been to Disney World? That's at least pretty darn close to being red (basically split 50/50 in 2000 and 04 with Bush just barely losing both times).

Posted by: right | Mar 25, 2005 1:23:34 PM

Fun! Though Matt's US map does make me sad. If nothing else, he's missing out on some good food, and some good scenery. And he's never been to Las Vegas?!?

I'd also make an argument for including places through which you've been by train. For one thing, you can see a lot of them. For another, depending on what kind of person you are and where you're going you can meet a lot of people in the states while you're on the train. When I was a kid we took the train cross country, and I certainly saw A LOT of South Dakota and North Dakota as a result. Not to mention my parents struck up a conversation with just about everyone who got on the train. It was in the 100 degrees outside but the train was air conditioned to the freezing point, so all these people who got on new would borrow my dad's sweatshirts.

Posted by: flip | Mar 25, 2005 1:26:31 PM

Re: Some outside air is essential. Driving (or riding in a train) does not count, just as flying over doesn't count.

I would disagree with this. If you drive from one end of, say, Michigan to the other (from Toledo up I-75, over the Mackinaw Bridge, then west on US2 all the way to Wisconsin) you have seen far, far more of the state, even if you made only the briefest stops, then if you simply spent a night in Ann Arbor and took in a UofM football game, then promptly flew home.

Posted by: JonF | Mar 25, 2005 1:50:54 PM

I certainly don't want to discourage train travel (ride Amtrak while you still can!). I vividly recall waking up in St. Louis on an overnight haul, just in time to see the Gateway Arch as the train made a graceful curve around it. But I haven't been to St. Louis.

Airports are self-contained sovereign domains, more like each other than like the city they serve. An airport is Limbo, a place of transit and not a destination itself. (Actually, I guess that would make it more like Purgatory.)

Posted by: Grumpy | Mar 25, 2005 1:52:05 PM

Hmm, Matt has seen more countries than I (My meagre list: the US, Canada, Mexico, France and Spain), but I’m far ahead in the states count: all 48 lower, but not yet AK or HI. I’ve also taken in all the Canadian provinces except NF and the Arctic territories.

Posted by: JonF | Mar 25, 2005 1:53:50 PM

Good point, JonF. Rather than "outside air," what I meant was getting outside & walking around. Foot contact is essential, in that case. But that doesn't rebut your hypothetical.

Under my proposed rules, the Ann Arbor sojourn would count as a visit to Michigan. I don't think anyone would disagree. Does a cross-state trip count? As you describe it, it probably would, by virtue of the "full meal" rule.

Unless you only eat donuts in the car, and never stop. If that's the case, I submit you have merely transited through Michigan, and not visited. Just seeing the landscape doesn't count -- you can do that on an airplane, and I don't see anybody claiming flyovers as legitimate visits.

Posted by: Grumpy | Mar 25, 2005 1:59:18 PM

Kind of eurocentric there, MY. You haven't really lived until you've been to some truly gritty third world countries.

Posted by: ostap | Mar 25, 2005 2:37:33 PM

Thank you for that comprehensive response, Grumpy. I agree in all respects, except that regarding:

Rest stops may count, if you consume an entire meal there. This can include soup, but only with crackers crumbled in it.

(a) I don't think that eating a meal at, say, a turnpike rest stop should count, even if it's a full meal. That strikes me as being analogous to eating in an airport restaurant. You should have to actually get off the highway and eat in an establishment housed in real estate not owned by the state department of transportation.

(b) What about oyster crackers? You don't crumble them before you add them to your soup, but yet they're actually more substantial than saltines.

Posted by: JP | Mar 25, 2005 2:38:22 PM

Re: Just seeing the landscape doesn't count -- you can do that on an airplane, and I don't see anybody claiming flyovers as legitimate visits.

I disagree about seeing the landscape, but I would specificy that it has be seen up close, not from five miles up. The landscape (more broadly, the natural environment) is a huge part of any place, and seeing it up close familiarizes you with the place at least as much as grabbing a bite to eat at some freeway interchaneg McDonalds, if not more so. Of course, on a long drive you’re going to be getting out for gas, food, and restroom breaks and that will give you some contact with the locals, which is also important in getting to know a place.
I would not, however, count airport layovers as a visit: you see nothing of the landscape (or even citiscape) and you're as likely to meet people from parts distant as you are locals.

Posted by: Jonf | Mar 25, 2005 2:40:09 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.