Starbucks, Sports, and Sea Monsters: Slate’s 12 Best Maps of 2013

A partnership of Slate and the New America Foundation.
Dec. 19 2013 7:52 AM

Starbucks, State Sports, and Sea Monsters

Slate’s most compelling maps of 2013.

131218_MAP_BobDylan

Bob Dylan’s World
Every place Bob Dylan ever sang about, from Oxford Town to Mozambique.

131218_MAP_MapNames

My Kind of Town, Stink Onions
Cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust
labeled each state and city on this U.S. map with the literal meaning of its name, showing that some etymologies are best left forgotten.

131218_MAP_Mississippi

The 7,000 Streams That Become the Mississippi River
The map, generated with an online tool released by the Department of the Interior, highlights thousands of streams that drain into the Mississippi River and serves as a disturbing reminder that the Mississippi River is like a nationwide public pool.

131218_MAP_Starbucks
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Can You Name These Cities by Their Starbucks Locations?
Is the ubiquitous coffee franchise Starbucks now so widespread that you can recognize a city based on the pattern of its coffeehouses? Pack your pumpkin spice lattes; we’re going on an adventure around the world!

131218_MAP_gerrymandering

Can You Solve Slate’s Gerrymandering Jigsaw Puzzle?
Slate
’s Gerrymander Jigsaw Puzzle challenges you to put the pieces of heavily gerrymandered states—such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maryland—back together again. It’s harder than it probably should be.

131218_MAP_folk

A Big, Beautiful Midcentury Map Celebrating American Folklore
This 1946 illustrated map featured in The Vault showcases national folk story figures, such as Buffalo Bill, Paul Bunyan, General Custard, the “Celebrated Jumping Frog,” and … Mormons.

131218_MAP_People

This Amazing Map Shows Every Person in America
A researcher at the University of Virginia used 2010 census data to plot each person as a dot and color each according to race, forming a detailed racial geography of the country that shows that de facto segregation continues.

131218_MAP_SeaMonster

Here Be Duck Trees and Sea Swine
Before this new Godzilla trailer, there was this annotated Renaissance-era map of nautical nightmares, which look just as terrifying as the supposed King of Monsters.

131218_MAP_Sports

The United Sports of America
In the map that launched a thousand bar-room arguments, Josh Levin definitively declared every state’s official sport. To start, let’s assume hot-air ballooning and skateboarding are sports.

131218_MAP_CalifCyclist

A Lovely 1896 Cyclists' Map of California Offered Advice to Intrepid Riders
This map of the bike routes of Gilded Age California portrays an era when the biggest threats to bikers were “very poor, mountainous” roads instead of taxicabs.

131218_MAP_Kennedy

Every John F. Kennedy Street, Park, Airport, and School in the World
This map of places named for John F. Kennedy across the world reveals the international influence of the president and captures the fixation Europeans had with naming roads after him.

131218_MAP_Lynchings

A Lynching Map of the United States, 1900-1931
One of the most harrowing historical charts you’ll ever see, this map, dug up by The Vault, locates each lynching of the early 20th century.

See more of Slate’s maps.

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