For every Internet commenter who enters online arguments about the USA with facts they got from their butt, there's a map that presents hard data bare and allows the viewers to make their own interpretations.

From light pollution and tree coverage to out-of-service railways and streets and highways, maps may not immediately look as exciting as a viral cat video -- which might explain why we often overlook them when -- but that doesn't mean that are boring. To prove that, we put together a selection of maps that explain the United States better then most textbooks and if broadening your worldview isn't thrilling, I don't know what is.

#1

Most Commonly Spoken Language In The Us After English And Spanish

Most Commonly Spoken Language In The Us After English And Spanish

reddit.com Report

Meeple13
Community Member
1 year ago

Who thought that German would be up there?!

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There’s often overlapping features between maps. For example, a topographic map could be utilized to show the distribution of a local orchid, making it both a topographic and thematic map. It could also be used to show well-known features of specific interest to travelers making this topographic, general reference, and thematic maps all in one.

The most widely used maps are “Political maps”. They are the ones that are usually mounted on the walls of classrooms throughout the world. They show the geographic boundaries between governmental units such as countries, states, and counties. They show roads, cities, and major water features such as oceans, rivers, and lakes.

#2

The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective

The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective

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Shelp
Community Member
1 year ago

I WANT that map

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Political maps are really good at helping people to understand the geography of the world. They are usually the first type of map that students are introduced to in school, too. They are often called “reference maps” because people refer to them again and again when they have questions.

According to Geology.com, thousands of different political reference maps have been prepared to explain the United States. There are maps of the entire nation, maps for each of the 50 states, and even maps of the 3142 counties (parishes in Louisiana, and boroughs in Alaska) that make up the states. Most counties, boroughs, and parishes are further subdivided into even smaller political units. An incredible number of political maps have been prepared just to display the geography of the United States alone.

#3

How I, A Brit, See The United States (Sorry If It Offends Anyone)

How I, A Brit, See The United States (Sorry If It Offends Anyone)

reddit.com Report

GirlFriday
Community Member
1 year ago

OK - this is funny.

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Patrick McGranaghan, who is a land surveyor in Colorado, USA, and the creator of one of the biggest online cartography communities, r/MapPorn, did an analysis on its most popular posts on Twitter. McGranaghan collected the 10 best-performing posts from the previous 18 months -- about 200 maps in total -- and went through each of them individually, tagging them based on the content, style, and subject matter. He then sorted the tags to see which ones were the most common.

#4

States With A Smaller Population Than Los Angeles County

States With A Smaller Population Than Los Angeles County

reddit.com Report

Something
Community Member
1 year ago

This is why our voting system is insane. (It was designed for a different view of government, where the states govern the people and the federal government is the government of the states, but now that it doesn't operate at all like that, it doesn't make any sense.)

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"The most popular subject was history," McGranaghan told Bored Panda. "In this category, the most popular maps were about World War II." Maps about other wars were also well liked, as well as those about the ancient Romans and historic trade routes.

"Another popular category was natural science. Especially popular are maps about wildlife, such as those that use tracking data to show animal migration patterns. Other topics included geology and astronomic maps."

Interestingly, quite a few viral maps focused on language. These include etymology, dialect and various pronunciation maps.

#5

US Watersheds

US Watersheds

reddit.com Report

BeazleBug
Community Member
1 year ago

For those that don't know, a watershed is a geologic area from which all water drains to the ocean. The pink area is the Mississippi river basin which includes the Missouri, Ohio, Platte. Allegheny, Red and Arkansas rivers (among many, many others)

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"Another topic that I grouped together are 'political re-alignments'. These are maps that deal with boundaries. Subjects like separatist movements, re-drawing borders, and user-created idealizations. Many of these are satirical and funny," McGranaghan explained.

McGranaghan, however, wouldn't say that all of these maps are scientific. "I think the data is a bit noisy, but it's interesting nonetheless. Users sometimes want a magic formula to make their maps go viral and I don't think there is one. The tastes of the masses are fickle and change over time."

#6

Red And Orange Areas Have Equal Populations

Red And Orange Areas Have Equal Populations

Cogo5646 Report

Nathan Jones
Community Member
1 year ago

This is not at all surprising, since nearly half the population in this country lives within 30 miles of the coast.

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When it comes to maps that best describe a country, McGranaghan thinks that it depends on the goal of the mapmaker. "All maps are generalizations, some good, some bad. They are not true representations and a good 'reader' should know that. I think good data visualization will take disparate datasets and find meaningful connections that weren't known before. It sounds simple but it is not so straightforward. A good mapmaker should be familiar with many matrices of knowledge and should be able to sift through them and make new connections."

McGranaghan created r/MapPorn in May 2011 while living in Taiwan, and it currently has over 995K members. He thinks the reason why the community is becoming so big is the same one why people like maps so much: they are easily digestible. So go ahead folks, continue scrolling and enjoy the rest of the post. Bon appétit!

#7

United States Population Lines

United States Population Lines

reddit.com Report

Adam C
Community Member
1 year ago

Cool Map.

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#8

The Most Efficient Route Between Every Springfield In The United States

The Most Efficient Route Between Every Springfield In The United States

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zims
Community Member
1 year ago

You're bound the find the Simpsons SOMEWHERE

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#9

Tree Cover Map Of The US

Tree Cover Map Of The US

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Iapetos
Community Member
1 year ago

There are not enough!

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#10

How Much Snow Does It Usually Take To Cancel Schools?

How Much Snow Does It Usually Take To Cancel Schools?

reddit.com Report

GirlFriday
Community Member
1 year ago

Nice. I always get a kick out of the places that close school for an inch of snow. You don't even need to wear a coat for 1" of snow.

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#11

Most Common Surname In The United States By State

Most Common Surname In The United States By State

reddit.com Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
1 year ago

This is not really surprising, I think

Lucky Vine
Community Member
1 year ago

WTF are you talking about? I'm pretty sure that almost nobody could have predicted what the most common surnames are in each state.

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John L
Community Member
1 year ago

It would be interesting to know why Georgia has "Williams" as their most common surname. The rest kind of make sense.

Gary Williams
Community Member
1 year ago

It's because the Williams family/families are well known as land owners, even back in the UK. More land equals more slaves and more slaves taking the last name of their owner. What a world.

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Ana Arena
Community Member
1 year ago

Martinez means "Martin's son" and García comes from "prince of graceful sight" or something like that

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Yes, the es/ez endings are leftovers from the military nomenclature of medieval Iberia, along with the propensity to use both parental surnames, to define one as a Christian, and not Muslim. So, Martinez=son of Martin, Rodriguez=son of Rodrigo (Roderick in English), and so on. When the peninsula was reconquered by the Spanish & Portuguese, the names remained, even if the reason no longer existed. -Dr M

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Miss Cris
Community Member
1 year ago

Useful for the Matrix

Li Doan
Community Member
1 year ago

Where is the Nguyen?

Lynn Tobin
Community Member
1 year ago

I find it interesting that the reason that SMITH is the most common surname, is that in the middle ages, people did not have last names. It was John , the gold smith; John the silversmith; John the blacksmith. Anything to do with metal was a "Smith". If the last name was not an occupation, it was a place hame, as in John lived in the town of water, so his name became John Waters. Many names are of occupations no longer needed. John the Copper was the barrelmaker. Name Trivia!

pei meow
Community Member
1 year ago

I thought lee would be the second popular last name

Daria B
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

No, that's S. Korea ♡ (Kim/Lee/Park)

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Li Doan
Community Member
1 year ago

Where is Nguyen?

Tina Walters
Community Member
1 year ago

Surprised Miller wasn't one of the surnames.

Mainecoonsandhuskies
Community Member
1 year ago

I love how so many of the states have smith

Something
Community Member
1 year ago

The profession must have been popular once.

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Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
7 months ago

Funny how there are so many English names yet most Americans are of German decent, very strange. Where are the Irish surnames ?

student Shreyaan Yadav
Community Member
7 months ago

Did you say Simpson

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
8 months ago

Did not realise that most of the surnames in the USA are English

BlackLabOwner
Community Member
9 months ago

what about "Montang"

P Rigual
Community Member
1 year ago

Garcia is the most common surname in Spain too, and it's a Basque surname

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
1 year ago

Interesting.

Emma Horn-Knox
Community Member
1 year ago

THIS IS WHY EVERY SINGLE CARTOON CHARACTER WITH A KNOWN LAST NAME IS SMITH

Kim Smith
Community Member
1 year ago

I am a Smith!! by marriage..

Aaron Smith
Community Member
1 year ago

This is partially my fault. Haha

Victoria Moralez
Community Member
1 year ago

My sister and I dated two guys with the last name Smith. No, they weren't related at all. Ironically, my fiancé dated a woman with a last name Smith in different state. This was before we got together. 😅😅

Billie Stavrakis
Community Member
1 year ago

Notice, Jones, the presumed second most common last name, is not on this map.

athornedrose
Community Member
1 year ago

i feel like i always hear about smith being common, but know *no one* with the last name smith.

fuggnuggins
Community Member
1 year ago

"Minorities".

Frances Emanuel
Community Member
1 year ago

This surprises me, I don't personally know anyone who's last name is Smith, but I'm from CA so I guess that makes sense.

Ann O'Riley
Community Member
1 year ago

So true in Hawai`i. Half the phonebook is Lee. English, Chinese, Korean, and Irish. 30,370 results for Lee in Hawaii.

sebastian nye
Community Member
1 year ago

why is georgia such an outlier?

Debra Johnson
Community Member
1 year ago

Now this one is funny...lol..But I'm a Johnson but live in the Smith area...lol

CR Harvey
Community Member
1 year ago

Smith must have been busy in the bed as well as the smithy.

SirPatTheCat
Community Member
1 year ago

S M I T H

Marnie
Community Member
1 year ago

I used to have a cousin named Guy Smith. And he got arrested once on suspicion of using an alias.

Maxwell Llewxam
Community Member
1 year ago

Fun fact: Why is Smith the most common last name in the English language (and other languages, too, it is quite common)? Because when one is waging a war...the Smiths don't get sent to the front lines. They are too valuable as skilled workers to manufacture weapons, so they die less often in conflicts. It makes sense. If you're waging a war, you don't send the tank engineer who knows how to design the multimillion dollar tanks...you send the uneducated kid with few other useful skills and keep the tank-builder safe in the rear of the conflict so he can keep building tanks!

CatWoman312
Community Member
1 year ago

I know at least one person who has every one of these last names

Valquerys
Community Member
1 year ago

Melanie Martinez!?!

Jason Smith
Community Member
1 year ago

So, we all knew this but here it is on a map.

Tabitha L
Community Member
1 year ago

Makes you wonder where the phrases "Keeping up the Joneses" came from. You'd think it would be "Keeping up with the Smiths".

Chris Batheram
Community Member
1 year ago

WTF! No Brown?

Azure Adams
Community Member
1 year ago

Could there be anymore Smiths?!

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
1 year ago

How about the band?

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Maurettis
Community Member
1 year ago

Smiths are legion

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

As a descendant of Smiths from Kansas, I agree. (Although they came from New York in the 1850s, and were actually Campbells who immigrated after the failed 1745 attempt at Scottish independence.) -Dr M

Борис Решетов
Community Member
1 year ago

Most Common Surname In the World - Smith. Russian hockey players in the NHL Kuznetsov, Kovalev, Kovalchuk also come from the profession of Smith.

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
1 year ago

Most common surname in english speaking countries. Most common surname in the world I thought was Wang.

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#12

Every State's Least Favorite State

Every State's Least Favorite State

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Thaia
Community Member
1 year ago

I love how florida hates itself

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#13

Its Very Interesting

Its Very Interesting

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Mihran Hovnanian
Community Member
1 year ago

Why is Canada building some sort of corridor to Mexico?

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#14

More People Live Inside The Red Area Than The Grey Area

More People Live Inside The Red Area Than The Grey Area

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Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 year ago

... and this is the downfall of the American election system called the electoral college.

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#15

Drug Overdose Deaths In The United States Per 100,000 Persons For 1999 And 2014

Drug Overdose Deaths In The United States Per 100,000 Persons For 1999 And 2014

reddit.com Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

This one is saddening.

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#16

US States Scaled Proportionally To Population Density

US States Scaled Proportionally To Population Density

reddit.com Report

zims
Community Member
1 year ago

Alaska is so tiny!

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#17

The Loudest And Quietest Spots In The Continental US

The Loudest And Quietest Spots In The Continental US

ational Park Service 9,9822,736Whoa? Report

Brandy Grote
Community Member
1 year ago

my house is in the border of very loud and very quiet. I can hear trains, a freeway, coyote howls, and owls hooting.

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#18

Out Of Service Railways

Out Of Service Railways

Andrew Grigg/ Report

nanashi
Community Member
1 year ago

for a large country like America, why is there no push for investing on high speed trains to cross the states?

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#19

The U.S. Mapped By Residents’ Desire To Move To A Different State

The U.S. Mapped By Residents’ Desire To Move To A Different State

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Zoe Murphy
Community Member
1 year ago

Can’t leave....... In-N-Out!!!

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#20

Use Of The Word "Dang" Across The Continental US

Use Of The Word "Dang" Across The Continental US

AJgloe Report

Troux
Community Member
1 year ago

Damn.

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#21

How America Utilizes Its Land

How America Utilizes Its Land

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zims
Community Member
1 year ago

I wonder where reservations fall on this chart.

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#22

Percentage Of People Born Outside The U.S. In Each State

Percentage Of People Born Outside The U.S. In Each State

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Martha Meyer
Community Member
1 year ago

To hear a lot if Americans talking, it would be much higher.

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#23

Regions Of The U.S. That Don't Officially Celebrate Christopher Columbus Day

Regions Of The U.S. That Don't Officially Celebrate Christopher Columbus Day

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Gareth Graham
Community Member
1 year ago

From watching US news recently, this may change

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#24

Popular Coffee Shop Chains By Number Of Locations

Popular Coffee Shop Chains By Number Of Locations

dannywat3rm3lon Report

Squirrelflightisawesome
Community Member
1 year ago

Caribou. I just love it.

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#25

Map Of Lowest Recorded Temperature In Each Us State (Fahrenheit)

Map Of Lowest Recorded Temperature In Each Us State (Fahrenheit)

reddit.com Report

Meechelle Reha
Community Member
1 year ago

This is Hilarious to me, my ex-husband was raised in Alaska from 7 year's old until 22 year's old & heard a ton of weather stories 😅 😄 😂 😆 🙃 🤣 😅 😄 I've been there 4 time's but alway's in summer though!

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#26

Light Pollution In The United States

Light Pollution In The United States

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 year ago

All astronomy hopefuls, please step to the left.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#27

Air Traffic Control Zones In The USA

Air Traffic Control Zones In The USA

reddit.com Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 year ago

"Albuquerque, we have a problem"

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#28

U.S. Education Spending Map

U.S. Education Spending Map

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Explains why so many US citizens show a heartbreaking ignorance and why a guy like Trump could become president.

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#29

Map Of The United States' 8 Million Miles Of Roads, Streets And Highways

Map Of The United States' 8 Million Miles Of Roads, Streets And Highways

reddit.com Report

@Daisychain
Community Member
1 year ago

viod-5ef49...bb452e.png viod-5ef493dbb452e.png

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#30

USA Tree Diversity

USA Tree Diversity

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Ryleigh
Community Member
1 year ago

We need more trees!!!!

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#31

Garbage Can vs. Trash Can In The United States

Garbage Can vs. Trash Can In The United States

reddit.com Report

Chuck Jessop
Community Member
1 year ago

I "refuse" to comment

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#32

Portion Of Each State That Is Federal Land

Portion Of Each State That Is Federal Land

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kate h
Community Member
1 year ago

Hawaii: 19% Federal, 81% Zuckerberg :/

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#33

All U.S. Counties With In-N-Out Burger As Of May 2020

All U.S. Counties With In-N-Out Burger As Of May 2020

reddit.com Report

Troux
Community Member
1 year ago

Thanks for posting this. I keep hearing this name and have never seen one.

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#34

A Tastier Map

A Tastier Map

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 year ago

Good grief, Georgia is insanely Waffled.

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#35

Date Of Creation Of All 3,142 U.S. Counties

Date Of Creation Of All 3,142 U.S. Counties

reddit.com Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 year ago

Do they did it ex profeso to have a pi number of counties?????

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#36

US Governors By Eye Color

US Governors By Eye Color

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dena masoomi
Community Member
1 year ago

I’m not sure what to do with this information

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#37

Voters Who Didn't Vote For Hillary Or Trump

Voters Who Didn't Vote For Hillary Or Trump

reddit.com Report

BluEyedSeoulite
Community Member
1 year ago

AND LOOK AT WHAT Y'ALL DID!!

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#38

Average Size Of US Apartments By Region

Average Size Of US Apartments By Region

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Ryleigh
Community Member
1 year ago

dang

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#39

Results Of The 1984 United States Presidential Election By County. The Most Lopsided Election In History, The Only State Reagan Failed To Win Was His Opponent’s, Minnesota

Results Of The 1984 United States Presidential Election By County. The Most Lopsided Election In History, The Only State Reagan Failed To Win Was His Opponent’s, Minnesota

reddit.com Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
1 year ago

In reverse, this must be the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump is setting up the "corrupt election" playbook so that when he loses, he can claim the election was fraudulent. We need to do the same thing Reagan did and OVERWHELMINGLY vote the morbidly obese pathological lying vindictive narcissistic imbecile with the emotional maturity of a toddler (AKA tRump) out of office.

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#40

US Counties With Gdp Over $100b

US Counties With Gdp Over $100b

reddit.com Report

Dave P
Community Member
1 year ago

um where are the five counties that make up NYC, all five have GDP's over 100B on their own

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#41

USA Country Map Divided By 1/3rds Of Covid Deaths

USA Country Map Divided By 1/3rds Of Covid Deaths

reddit.com Report

Brandy Grote
Community Member
1 year ago

give it a month.

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