This map of the United States is a thought experiment designed by artist and urban planner Neil Freeman. He lives in New York City and runs a website of his work called Fake is the New Real where he has his artwork and thoughts posted. Much of his work deals with urbanism and mapping. One interesting piece, for instance, compares the variation of urban pattern between Chicago and New York. He overlaid all the streets of Chicago and New York in separate images centered on a single point revealing a dramatic graphic form distinct for each city.
The map posted here caught my eye. It has a geographical, political, and demographic message. It reapportions the 50 states into areas encompassing roughly equal populations of 6 million each. The land areas of states differ dramatically based on the density of populations across the country. He gives the states new names and divvies up new electoral college vote quantities that are equal for each state. He describes it as a map for electoral college reform. In a way this map is more about the Senate however. Currently each state gets two Senators, no matter how small or how big their population is. So for instance, California with the biggest economy and the biggest population (currently closing in on 40 million people) gets just 2 US Senators – the same number as little itty bitty Alaska with a population smaller than Erie County. Of course being in New York State along with gigantic New York City, poor little Buffalo and Erie County basically get no real Senatorial representation.
So in the map Buffalo gets its own state of 6 million with its own 2 Senators, where it is the largest city. Buffalo’s state would be called Adirondack and would encompass much of Upstate NY and most of New England. Many of the names Freeman gave the new 50 states are interesting but lost on me. Chicago is in the state of Gary which is obviously a bit of snark aimed at that city. California is divided roughly into 4 states giving it 8 Senators to its current 2. Maybe that would break the conservative filibuster strangle hold in congress. This will never happen of course but it is fun to think about.
^Click on map to enlarge