Maps and Statistics Page

National Map | Regional Maps | Local Maps | Identity Statistics | More Data | Sports Maps

If you haven't contributed your votes already, please do on the main page. It takes just 12 clicks and will make these maps more accurate.

National Map (48 States)

This map draws responses to the question,

"On the level of North America as a whole, what major city do you feel has the most cultural and economic influence on your area overall?"

Each major city has been given a color at random to identify the area within which people feel it has the predominant influence. Thus, the map of the US has been divided into different colored areas that correspond to the 'sphere of influence' of each city on a continental level. The particular collection of cities has arisen solely through voting and not through any preselected list; respondents are able to specify any location in the US. Please see caveats below.

Click on the map to zoom in and see more details with a "magnifying glass" (newer browsers only).

This map was last updated on Oct 4, 2010.

Download medium-size map | Download high-resolution map

  • Areas of the map are still highly inaccurate and subject to change. Very few votes have been received far outside of major urban areas, so areas like Montana may change completely and the boundaries between other areas could still change significantly as more votes are received.
  • The selection of cities may change significantly. There are some sketchy areas of color on the map that represent cities that may emerge, or may disappear, as more votes come in. The algorithm includes cities based on a general regional consensus, and some areas have so few votes that the consensus is quite tentative.
  • Some spheres of influence do not cover their own city. The cities themselves are plotted in red dots. There are several cases where a city's sphere of influence is located outside that city, and the city itself is located in the sphere of influence of another city. This may occur for cities with very few votes, and is expected to correct itself as more votes come in.

Regional Maps

Regional maps draw what respondents consider to be their "local areas", in response to the question,

"Please choose the name of the local community that you feel is the natural cultural and economic center within your local area."

Or, if you feel a general name (i.e. "Hope Valley", "Pleasant Lake Area" or "Midway-Fairview Area") is more descriptive of your local area culturally than the name of a single central community, then please give what you feel to be the best commonly accepted name for your local area."

To produce regional maps, many more votes are needed than for the national map, because of the greater level of detail. More maps for different regions of the country will be posted over the next few months as more votes allow initial versions to be drawn.

Currently available:

updated Oct 5, 2010

New York City Region (click to view full-size)

This demonstration map is extremely inaccurate and intended only to give an idea of how the data is starting to take shape. Some areas are based on just a few votes and a lot of extrapolation. The area includes parts of New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and others. County boundaries are overlaid in faint white, to allow for comparison. First added Nov. 2, 2005.

updated Oct 5, 2010

San Francisco Region (click to view full-size)

This demonstration map is even less accurate than the New York City Region map, and again, is intended only to give an idea of how the data is starting to take shape. Most of the shapes are based on extrapolation from just a handful of data points. First added Nov. 14, 2005.

Local Maps

Local maps draw the geographic responses to the question, "What do you consider to be your local community?"

The results are interesting because in some areas people select neighborhoods, in others towns or cities, and in others towns or cities that differ from the boundaries set by governments or the post office. However, a very large amount of data is necessary to draw these maps, so expect only a few maps of the most populated cities over the next few months. More comprehensive coverage will come over the years.

Currently available:

updated Oct 5, 2010

Manhattan Neighborhoods (click to view full-size)

This demonstration map is extremely inaccurate and spotty, and intended only to give an idea of how the data is starting to take shape. Individual colored votes are shown by exact location, and areas that have received enough votes have been shaded the neighborhood's color. Most of the map has been left gray, for areas without enough votes. It is interesting to note that while a significant minority of people choose to identify their local community as 'Manhattan' or 'New York', the majority chooses to identify their neighborhood. First added Oct. 31, 2005.

Identity Statistics

The fourth and final question of the survey asks,

"On a global level, what three geographic areas do you most identify with?"

and allows three ranked answers. See the responses on the Identity Statistics Page.

It is interesting to see how some people give answers of decreasing size (i.e. USA-California-San Francisco) and others of increasing size (i.e. Boston-Northeast-USA).

Note that this question is fundamentally different from the last three. Those are about geographic areas, and expect general consensus within any given small area. This question is personal, and it is the distribution of answers that is interesting.

A series of maps is planned to visualize the data once much more has been collected. In particular, they will seek to show:

  • Are there any areas of the country that identify more with their state or region than the USA as a whole? Even if not, who comes the closest in regional pride?
  • Do people identify themselves more with regions (Northeast, Deep South) or states? Or is it a mix? What are the shapes of those regions? (I.e., where does the Northeast end exactly?)
  • Do any areas inspire particularly widespread loyalty across the country? For example, where across the country do you find people who identify at heart with Texas or New York City?

It is hoped that the results will provide significant insights into how the American people see themselves.

More Data

For those that are curious about how the national map has evolved as more votes have been received, you can download the medium-resolution versions at: 4,000 votes | 8,000 votes | 16,000 votes | 24,000 votes. Note that formatting has changed significantly, and that these vote counts are actually inflated by about 10% (current counts are accurate). In the future, these maps will be replaced with a better way of visualizing the change over time.

You can also download a medium-resolution 24,000 vote map (old vote count) that shows a black dot for every vote cast, to get an idea of how comprehensive the geographic coverage is.


This website and all its contents copyright © 2005 Michael Baldwin

Map images are also covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License — please share!