Behold the Map

By Missy Celii

The Census is amazing for many reasons. For a planner or anyone interested in better understanding a place, it provides invaluable information on the people and trends of an area. The literally are the federal authority on demographic facts and surprisingly, they actually produce tangible and useful things (true it takes them 10 years, well five thanks to ACS). I recently found another reason to love the Census: this map. As you can see, America is broken into four main areas whose borders confirm what I have always known and said: The South starts the minute you leave New Jersey. Sorry Delaware, you are not Northern!

Furthermore, if you look closely you will notice that no part of Virginia touches the North, meaning it is 100% completely in the South. So Virginia, please stop trying to be part of the North like some awkward kid in middle school inviting yourself to the cool kids parties, they are excluding you for a reason: you are not one of them. Now I love Virginia and can’t blame it for not wanting to be associated with Texas or Mississippi, so all I can say is buck up VA, you are a God among mortals and yokels. The one thing that seems wrong with the map is that it is missing Pennsyltucky as a subregion of the North. You know, that area that starts around exit 130 on the Garden State Parkway and contains all of South Jersey and the majority of Pennsy. There is a clear cultural and geographic difference as you cross into this region (usually accompanied by goosebumps and a shudder).

And speaking of maps, take a look at this beauty. In a segment of life I like to calll ‘wow, I’m actually using things I learned and school and making money for it,’ I was hired by Papa John’s to make a map of their different delivery sectors. And after countless frustrating hours and a near nervous breakdown (if Satan spawned a child and it happened to be a computer program, its name would be GIS), my masterpiece was completed, laminated, and promptly splattered with tomato sauce (oh how I lament).

Image credit: Cenusus Map: US Census Bureau, Created by the Geography Division.  Papa’s John’s Ivd Rd Map: Missy Celii


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