Holiday map blogging


I’ve always enjoyed maps of things like “what if the 50 states were arranged in a different way?” This 2012 map, by Neil Freeman, is one of my favorites. The author imagines what the 50 states would look like if they were reorganized the way congressional districts are, each being equal in population. It also helps that the map is beautifully drawn, the sort of thing I just enjoy looking at.

Freeman drew his map with Electoral College reform in mind. If the states were all equal-sized by population, then lefty complaints about the Senate and the Electoral College would be eliminated. After the 2012 election, however, Nate Cohn pointed out in a New Republic article that a map with the states arranged in Freeman’s new pattern would have actually given the election to Mitt Romney, despite Obama’s commanding lead in the popular vote. As an electoral reform, then, the idea only made things worse. But as a piece of art and a thought experiment, it remains a success.

I had no such lofty goals, but I did wonder what my home commonwealth of Pennsylvania would look like with 67 equal-population counties. I drew it up here. This is not something I endorse as a political matter (although Philadelphia might do better as a group of smaller governmental units) but just a bit of fun. It also gives a visual representation of where Pennsylvania’s population is concentrated in a way many other maps don’t.

equipop-pennsylvaniaequipop-pennsylvania-se-inset equipop-pennsylvania-phila-insetequipop-pennsylvania-pitt-inset

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