Archive Page 2

The American Meridian

Modern geographers measure degrees of longitude from the Prime Meridian running through Greenwich, England, but things didn’t always work this way.  In fact, America, like many other countries, long maintained its own “Prime Meridian” for domestic and international cartographic measurements and surveys.   This meridian was the basis for determining state borders and other domestic surveys, and formed a key part of demarcating a rapidly growing United States.

The map above, from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, shows the major survey lines used to demarcate the boundaries of most modern U.S. states.  The borders of the first 17 states are not included on this map because they predate the establishment of the survey system.  Texas is also exempt as its boundaries were established by treaty.  Many of the secondary baseline meridians on this map were full degrees of longitude from one of several American meridians.  Click here or on the picture above to enlarge the map.

America actually had four separate prime meridians, all of which ran through Washington, DC.  The first was established in 1791 by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the planner who designed the new capital city.  L’Enfant established America’s first prime meridian running through the center of the U.S. Capitol Building, and used this as the basis for his original plans for the city. 

L’Enfant designed his city around a giant right triangle, with vertices at the Capitol, the White House, and the Washington Monument.  The leg of the triangle between the White House and the Washington Monument became America’s second prime meridian in 1793, as surveyed by then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.  Stones marking this meridian can still be found on the National Mall today.

The second meridian persisted until 1850, when Congress established a new, third meridian explicitly for domestic surveys while adopting the British Prime Meridian for all nautical calculations.  The new American meridian would run through the old U.S. Naval Observatory, now the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, in DC’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood.  This meridian persisted until 1897, when the U.S. Naval Observatory moved to its current location on Massachusetts Avenue.  Visitors to the area can find a small monument showing this meridian on the grounds of the George Washington University.

The third meridian was, by law, used for all domestic surveys from 1850 to 1897–the years of some of America’s greatest territorial expansion.  As such, many of the Western states have borders based on this third meridian.   Both the eastern and western borders of Colorado and Wyoming, for example, are demarcated at fixed, full degrees from the 1850 meridian.  The table below shows all state boundaries based on this meridian:

Degree    Boundary
25°         W Kansas (29 January 1861) as a state 
               E Colorado (28 February 1861), NE not dependent on Kansas 
               SW Nebraska
27°         E Montana (3 March 1863) as Idaho Territory
               E Wyoming (3 March 1863) as Idaho Territory 
               NW Nebraska
               W North Dakota as Dakota Territory 
               W South Dakota as Dakota Territory
32°         W Colorado (28 February 1861)
               SE Utah
               E Arizona (24 February 1863)
               W New Mexico
34°         SW Montana (26 May 1864) 
               W Wyoming (25 July 1868), SW not dependent on Montana
               SE Idaho
               NE Utah
37°         E Nevada (5 May 1866) as a state (39° → 38° → 37°) 
               W Utah
39°         NW Montana (26 May 1864)
               NE Idaho

America’s fourth meridian, running through the new U.S. Naval Observatory, was used for several decades.  It wasn’t until the International Meridian Conference in 1884 that most countries, including the United States, agreed to standardize their meridians on the British line.


Hungry Sportsfans


As the summer heat begins to work its way across the country, the minds of men, women, and children naturally turn to the diversions of the season–family vacations, camping trips, and baseball.  Modern baseball stadiums, in an attempt to attract and keep fans, have gone far beyond the cracker jack concessions of old.  Now, baseball fans are treated to a virtual smorgasbord of food options, from the zany to the mundane.  Fortunately, the New York Times has put together a scorecard letting us know what food is worth eating at ballparks around the country.

The map is interactive, allowing users to click on a stadium they want to learn more about.  A second window pops up with picture of food to seek out and avoid, and provides descriptions of both.  Click here or on the picture above to go to the map.

In Houston’s Minute Maid Park, for instance, the map recommends the “sizzling beef fajita from Rosa’s Taqueria,” but says to avoid the Union Station “superstar dog with chili cheese.”  According to the commentary, the rubbery hot dog isn’t worth the mess you’ll be left with on your face, clothes, and fingers.

Similarly, Phillies fans should remember to try the pork and provolone sandwich from Tony Luke’s, who’s broccoli “almost makes it feel like a healthy option. Almost.”  But in an ironic bit of cultural blasphemy, the map suggests that visitors to Citizen Bank Park would do well to avoid the cheesteaks, which are apparently far below what Philadelphia’s hallmark food should be. 

The corndogs at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium are “disturbingly large,” and the cuban sandwich at Miami’s Dolphins Stadium has “too much neon yellow mustard.”  At Fenway Park you can apparently buy kosher hot dogs out of a vending machine (avoid), but Seattle’s Ichiroll sushi is surprisingly good for a ballpark.

Minard’s Map of British Coal Exports

Britain was the world’s leading industrial power for most of the 1800s.  19th Century industrial production relied on coal–it powered factories, heated homes, and was essential for producing steel–and as an industrial power Britain relied on coal to make it great.  Most British coal was used domestically, but some was exported to support burgeoning industrial needs in other parts of the world.  Charles Joseph Minard, the well-regarded economic cartographer, produced this excellent map of British coal exports for the year 1864. 

As with most of Minard’s works, this map relates the thickness of each export line to the amount of coal it represents.  Here, each millimeter of thickness represents 20,000 tons of coal.  The numbers written over or beside the lines represent the total number of tons of coal, in thousands.  Click here or on the picture above to see the full map.  Minard also included a fascinating graph of the eventual uses of all British-mined coal in the upper right.  More on that graph later.

The map clearly demonstrates that the majority of British coal exports were destined for use in Western Europe–in Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the German states, and Scandinavia.  A smaller but still significant amount was exported to Russia (via both the Baltic and Black Seas) and the Ottoman Empire.

The coal that was not shipped to Europe was distributed across the remaining five populated continents, but not evenly: Australia and Africa (with the exception of British-controlled Egypt) imported hardly any coal at all, whereas China and India imported much more.  South America also imported a significant amount of British coal–much of it to Brazil, Chile, or Peru.  Canada and the United States imported a relatively small amount–the former possibly due to its lower population, and the latter probably due to large domestic coal production. 

The map show some interesting details about international trade during the mid 1860s.  Malta, Singapore, and especially Cuba imported large amounts of coal given their relative size and levels of industrialization.  Malta and Singapore, at least, were British colonies;  but Cuba was a Spanish possession, showing how much the dwindling Spanish Empire had come to rely on foreign industry to sustain itself. 

Though St. Petersburg was the Russian capital at the time, the majority of Russian coal imports from the Baltic Sea were instead destined for the city of Kronstadt, located on an island off the coast of St. Petersburg.  Kronstadt was the headquarters of the Russian Baltic Fleet, and its steam-powered battlecruisers consumed coal at a tremendous rate. 

Prussia’s growing power in Germany is shown by the amount of coal it imported from the Baltic, peeling off into multiple ports.  But Minard also indicates that a rather large amount of coal was still being imported to the German North Sea ports and destined for the “Villes Anseatiques”–the cities of the old Hanseatic League, a Renaissance-era trading guild that had become defunct in all but name in the 1600s.  Interestingly, however, the German cities of Lubeck, Hamburg, and Bremen maintained the pretenses of the League until 1862–only two years before the data for this map was gathered.  It is unclear whether Minard refers to the imports of the last three cities, or of a collection of older member cities.  At the very least, the use of this nomenclature shows the continuing decentralization of Germany, which would not change until German unification under Prussia at the beginning of the next decade.

Finally, the map also shows the continuing economic importance of the Caribbean islands.  More coal was imported by those small specks of land than by the rest of North America combined. 

Minard also included an interesting chart in the upper right-hand corner of the map, showing the amount of British coal produced for each year between 1850 and 1864, and how it was used.  Click here or on the picture below to see a close-up of the chart.  The graph shows the tremendous changes in coal production over only a decade and a half–an increase of nearly 100% from just over 50 million to nearly 95 million tons.  Of this, less than 10% was ever exported–meaning that the British domestic market was consuming nine times as much coal as is shown as exported in the main map. 

The major uses of British coal, according to the chart, are: the production of iron (“Fer”) and cast iron (“Fonte”), gas lighting (“Eclairage au gas”), steam engines in ships and trains (“Navires a Vapeur et Chemins de Fer”), and domestic fireplaces (“Foyers Domestiques”).  A large amount of this production was also specifically slated for use in London, showing how that city was the major center of British industry. 

This is the second post in our continuing “Mondays with Minard” series, exhibiting Charles Joseph Minard’s excellent cartographic handiwork.  This map was photographed specifically for use here at Cartographia from the collections of the Library of Congress.  Feel free to reproduce the map in any way you wish, but please cite us as the source. The original map is in fairly good quality, but I ran the picture through Photoshop to improve the contrast and make the colors more vibrant for the sake of clarity. 

The Milky Way Mosaic

The Milky Way Galaxy is a big place.  It’s close to 100,000 lightyears across another 1,000 lightyears thick.  It’s home to around 300 billion stars, including our Sun, which revolve lazily around the galactic core once every 220 million years.  If the galaxy were shrunk to 100 miles in diameter, the Solar System would only be 1/10 of an inch big. 

Given the scales involved, mapping the Milky Way can be an arduous, complex, and frustrating undertaking.  But NASA, using infrared technology, has developed the highest-resolution image mosaic of the Milky Way ever developed, and a cool viewer to help explore it.  The image above is from the GLIMPSE viewer, sponsored by NASA and other space organizations, to view the infrared-spectrum mosaic at its highest resolution.  Click here or on the picture above to go to the viewer.

The mosaic was developed using images taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope.  NASA used infrared imagery, rather than the visible spectrum, because infrared images can see deep into the galaxy in much greater detail.  This mosaic is still being explored and analyzed, but it has already revealed previously hidden galactic objects and gorgeous images of faraway regions of space.

NASA highlighted the images with artificial colors to represent the infrared spectrum.  For example, red areas indicate a strong presence of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), which light up under ultraviolet radiation.  As such, brighter red areas in the image represent the birth of recent high-mass stars, which emit the ultraviolet radiation that makes the PAHs glow.  Ionized and shocked gasses in the image show up as green.  These colors indicate additional high-mass star formation, but also supernovae. 

The GLIMPSE program provides a beautiful view of a complex galactic picture.  Take the time to explore the image and look at some of the recommended features already toggled on the image. [via Slashdot]

Traveling on Public Transport

Most people are familiar with maps of public transport systems, including subway and bus maps, but although these maps show the extent of the transportation systems they represent, they do not show the amount of time it takes to get from origin to destination.  And as any commuter knows, the time it takes to make a morning commute has a direct relationship to home prices, with homes closer to commercial hubs frequently costing more than those farther away.  These of travel times and home prices can be mapped to show important relationships of real estate and public transportation.

In 2006, the UK Department of Transport approached to produce maps of public transport travel time using publicly available data.  They leveraged this data to produce a series of time maps that functioned like common topographical charts, with contour lines representing half-hour time intervals, and highlighted with colors to further emphasize the differences.  The map above represents travel time from central London using only public transport, with red areas being accessible more quickly, and those in blue requiring more time to get to.  Click here or on the picture above to see a larger image of the map.

This map shows at a glance how residents of central London can easily move about the city fairly quickly, but that residents of far-out suburbs may have a more lengthy commute if they live farther away from the points of quick access that surround train stations.  For example, although it is relatively close to central London, the areas around Richmond Park, to the southwest, are much more inaccessible by public transport than areas further out served by commuter trains, as indicated by islands of red in a sea of yellow and blue.

The UK Department of Transport, impressed by MySociety’s work, came back to them in 2007 and asked them to improve the maps and relate them to additional data.  They were then able to relate commuting time to local housing prices, developing a set of interactive maps with sliders to show how housing costs related to commute time to three locations in central London. 

For these maps, MySociety revised the “heat map” scheme and simply darkens the areas that meet the requirements set by the sliders.  Click on the picture above to see two of these interactive maps of travel time and home price.

These maps provide valuable data to help people decide where to live or travel depending on where they need to commute to every day.  Imagine if maps like these existed for New York City, Washington DC, and other US metropolitan areas.  They would provide potentially revolutionary ways for people to see where to live and work, and provide valuable information for improving and understanding the impact of public transportation systems.

Living the Single Life

A great deal of ink has been spilled trying to show single men and women how to find a partner.  Dating guides, pick-up manuals, support groups, and recent major motion pictures have covered the subject forwards, backwards, and sideways.  But singles looking for love could do worse than to examine the odds: some cities simply have more single men than single women, and others are overflowing with single women but have a dearth of available men. 

The map above, produced by by Richard Florida at, shows the distributions of single men and women between the ages of 20 and 64 in cities nationwide.  Cities with a surplus of men are in blue; those with a surplus of women, in red.  The larger the circle, the greater the number of single men or women in that town. Click here or on the picture above to see an enlarged version of the map.

The trends in the map are easy to spot: men living on the West Coast can probably attest to the huge numbers of single men on the lookout for available women.  And as the characters of Sex and the City attest, New York is crawling with single women but many fewer single men.  Overall, single women seem to gravitate to the Eastern United States, whereas single men apparently head west. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most major US metropolitan areas seem to be fairly well balanced; they may have a couple thousand more single men than women or vice versa, but spread out over a large urban area those numbers are barely noticeable.  But cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington stand out for their numbers of available women, just as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, and San Francisco/San Jose stand out for their numbers of single men. 

These statistics belie hidden demographics: certainly, economic centers of male-heavy industries like computing (Silicon Valley), gaming (Las Vegas), and aerospace (Seattle) are likely to attract more single men.  Similarly, many women looking to establish careers in public policy and law (Washington, DC) and fashion and design (New York) will gravitate to the more liberal East Coast cities, perhaps away from more conservative Central and Western states. 

Introducing “Mondays with Minard”

There are few features on this site that have garnered as many positive responses as the works of Charles Joseph Minard, the 19th Century French economic geographer, cartographer, and civil engineer.  Minard produced dozens of fascinating maps of economic, military, and social trends.  Two of his maps–a chart of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia, and a map of international immigration in 1858–have previously been featured on this site.  Now, I am introducing a weekly feature where, each Monday, I will present another of Minard’s excellent maps.

Toward the end of his life, Minard donated a complete set of his maps to the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, the French national academy of bridges and roads, where he had served as the superintendent.  As far as I know, this is the only complete collection of Minard’s maps; but several others are held in collections around the world.  One relatively small but high-quality collection is held by the Library of Congress, here in Washington, DC.  Others have been reproduced in English- and French-language books on thematic mapping.  I’ve done my best to draw on as many sources of Minard maps as possible to present them here.

Many of the maps that will appear over the next several weeks are not available elsewhere on the Internet.  All of them are unequivocably in the public domain, however, so feel free to reproduce and circulate them, though we here at Cartographia would appreciate attribution. 

The first post of the series begins below…

Hannibal Crosses the Alps

Charles Joseph Minard’s most famous work, a chart of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, immediately impresses the observer with the magnitude of Napoleon’s losses.  The quickest of glances shows the dramatic thinning of the line representing the number of men in his army as they succumbed to starvation, enemy combat, and the bitter cold.  Minard produced a companion map, shown above, of Hannibal Barca’s invasion of Italy in 218 BC during the Second Punic War, including his famous crossing of the Alps.

Minard’s map charts Hannibal’s path from Iberia (Spain), across southern Gaul (France), across the Alps and into Italy.  Minard represents the number of men in Hannibal’s army with the thickness of the line showing the army’s path.  One millimeter of thickness represents 1,000 men.  The Hannibal map, however, is not as striking as the Napoleon map.  For one, the numbers of men involved in Hannibal’s invasion are significantly smaller.  Minard could have exaggerated Hannibal’s losses by increasing the ratio of men to line thickness, but held exactness in too high a regard to attempt such data manipulation.  Click here or on the picture above to see the full map.

The Punic Wars were fought between Rome and Carthage over control over the Western Mediterranean.  The First Punic War, between 264 to 241 BC, was fought over control of Sicily and ended with Roman victory and the defeat of Carthaginian naval power.  The Second Punic War, on the other hand, was fought over conflicting spheres of Roman and Carthaginian influence in Spain.  Rome declared war on Carthage in 218 BC, and Hannibal set out soon after to invade Italy.

Hannibal understood that Carthaginian naval power was weak, and that Rome had to be struck directly in order to guarantee decisive victory.  Since he had no means of attacking by sea, he had to strike overland.  According to Minard’s sources, Hannibal began his journey with 94,000 men including cavalry, siege engines, and, famously, 36 war elephants.  When he arrived at the Pyrenees, the force numbered about 80,000.  In the Pyrenees he subdued the local tribes with significant losses.  Minard records Hannibal’s army at a strength of 60,000 when it emerged from the mountains, a loss of 25%. 

An approximate overlay of Hannibal’s route on a modern-day map from Google Earth. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Hannibal now marched across the plains of southern Gaul, defeating or negotiating with the local tribes.  He only met significant resistance when he tried to cross the Rhone River near modern Avignon.  He defeated the opposing tribe, as Minard shows, by sending a detachment upriver and outflanking them.   Hannibal then began his crossing of the Alps.  To this day, Hannibal’s path across the mountains is debated.  Minard’s legend indicates that he uses the route suggested by French historian Jean-Louis Larauza, though Minard indicates he himself cannot speak to the historical accuracy of this route.  Regardless, Minard indicates the severe losses Hannibal’s army experienced during the crossing–46,000 men entered the foothills of the Alps in 218 BC, but only 25,000 emerged. 

Now in Italy, Hannibal sought to join up with anti-Roman allies in the region, but before he could he had to fight his way through further hostile tribes and local Roman forces.  By the time the army crossed the Po River, these engagements dwindled the forces to a stunning 6,000 men.  It was these few who would join with the anti-Roman forces in northern Italy to begin the main assault on Roman territory. 

Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps is generally regarded as a masterpiece of military strategy, but in the crossing Hannibal suffered dramatic losses of men, as well as of his war elephants and, perhaps most importantly, his siege engines.  Without these engines, Hannibal would not be able to penetrate the fortifications of Rome itself and force a surrender.  Though he ravaged the Italian countryside for several years and won several important battles, he was eventually defeated by the tactics of Quintus Fabius Maximus, who realized he could defeat Hannibal by attacking the one thing he could not replace–his men.  He began forcing Hannibal to fight small, costly engagements instead of direct conflicts.  These “Fabian” tactics are still used today; we know them as “wars of attrition.”  The constant skirmishes caused Hannibal’s limited manpower to dwindle to dangerous levels, and eventually forced his retreat as he still could not receive reinforcements from Carthage. 

Power Tables

Anyone who’s ever visited Washington, DC knows that the halls of power extend far beyond the alabaster walkways of the Capitol and the White House.  K Street lobbying firms, NGO offices, and the infamous “smoke-filled room” all play a part in DC’s wheeling and dealing.  There’s even a deserted parking garage thrown in once in a while.   But though all these locations all play important roles in the politics of the capital city, no one should discount the impact of a small number of choice restaurants on the DC political scene. 

The map above, entitled “Power Tables,” is from the interactive features website of Conde Nast’s  It shows the most important of the restaurants that meet at the crossing of money, power, politics, ambition, and delicious food.  These restaurants, naturally, center around the White House and Penn Quarter areas of Central DC, within walking distance of many political offices.  Click here or on the picture above to see the full map.

The map is interactive, as well: click on any of the fork-and-knife icons, and the map will tell you not the name of the restaurant, but also which notable figures can be found there and what they eat.  For example, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton dines at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel three times a week, and generally partakes of the Mediterranean food.  Want to “accidently” bump into Secretary of Defense Robert Gates?  You should reserve a table Morton’s on Connecticut Avenue.  And you can walk over to The Source, beneath the Newseum, to find Nanci Pelosi and Harry Ried.

America and Russia: Beyond Borders

In the waning days of the Cold War, a first-rate team of American and Russian geographers began to ask whether the Soviet Union and the United States could be compared on common geographical principles.  The team speculated that geographic similarities–such as the tropics of Florida and of the Black Sea coast, the Appalachians and the Urals, and the Mississippi and the Volga basins–reflected fundamental similarities between the two historically feuding superpowers.  They wrote a book called Beyond Borders to explain their remarkable findings, but at the last minute their publisher was sold and publication of the book was cancelled.  Now, 18 years later, the team has made the book available online in its entirety, for free.

The researchers’ objective was to develop a rubric for comparing Russia and America based on their geographic regions and common history:

While we do not try to minimize the differences between Russia and America, we observed that people in the two countries have many similarities in the way they spread across the continents, adapted to various environments, conquered or absorbed indigenous people, and molded their respective geographies into a set of regions.

The team identified eleven regions on which to base their analysis:

The Core: In America, this roughly corresponds to the Mid-Atlantic Region; in Russia, it means the areas around Moscow and the Upper Volga–the regions that are “what would become all that one could define as uniquely American or Russian.”  This is the traditional “homeland”–Philadelphia, Washington, and New York City in America; and Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, and Tver in Russia.  This is locus of national cultural origin.

The North: In America, this is New England and the northern parts of the Midwestern States on the Canadian border, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  In Russia, this includes Novgorod, St. Petersburg, and the coast of the White Sea.  This region is home to Puritanical and Orthodox traditions–an original national ideological home that has since been outpaced by the development it inspired elsewhere.

The South: In America, this roughly means the states that seceded during the Civil War–from the Potomac in the north to central Texas in the southwest.  In Russia, this means central Ukraine into south-central Russia, bordering the Volga.  These regions are defined by their warm weather and arable land, but also by their history of forced servitude through serfdom and slavery. 

The Heartland: In America, this area corresponds with most of the Midwest, from Milwaukee to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh to Buffalo.  Russia’s “Heartland” centers on the junction of the Volga and Kama rivers, near Kazan, Samara, and Ufa.  This is the traditional industrial backbone–a land of factories, labor, and hard work, turned to rust in more recent years from economic depression and a changing economy.

The Crossroads: In America, this is the area around the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, near St. Louis and Nashville, and into the Ozark Mountains in the west.  For Russia, this actually means Belarus, but also Smolensk and other parts of western Russia.  This is the area where cultures meet and clash, nestled between the American North and South, and between Russia and Europe, integrating and meshing opposing ideologies.

The Breadbasket: In America, this is the Great Plains and part of the Midwest, from North Dakota to Indianapolis to Oklahoma; and in Russia this means the Black Sea littoral and as far east as Orenburg.  The Breadbasket is exactly what it sounds like–the “fertile triangle” and source of food for a hungry nation.

The Old Mountains: In America, the Appalachians; in Russia, the Urals.  These mountain ranges define the boundary between the old homeland and the new areas of expansion, and reflect the first traversal point on the road to national expansion and manifest destiny toward the Pacific.

The Tropical South: In America, this is clearly the Deep South and South Florida, a land of palm trees, lazily hot weather, and sultry culture.  But in Russia, this means The Crimea, southern Moldova, and the northwest tips of the Caucasus–a region similar in climate and, as in America, a recent boom of luxury and wealth built by a “sun and sin” economy. 

Mexistan: This is the alien yet internal culture–a fusion of foreign and domestic.  In America, this is the Southwest; in Russia, Central Asia–lands conquered in foreign conflicts, generally far-removed from the ancestral homelands, and harboring a people different from those who founded the nations.

The Land Ocean: This is the vast peripheral expanse–in America, the West; in Russia, Siberia–that forms the backdrop for each nation’s plunge into manifest destiny toward the Pacific Ocean.  The Land Ocean is a region defined by frontier mythology and by the subjugation and elimination of its native peoples.

The Pacific Gateway: In America, this region stretches from San Francisco to Alaska.  In Russia, it surrounds the Sea of Okhotsk, from Vladivostok to Petropavlovsk to the Bering Sea, where America and Russia’s Pacific Gateway Regions meet.  This area is marked by its extreme distance from the national homeland, as well as by its similarly extreme geography of volcanoes, mountainous peaks, and lush forests.

The authors have made their entire book available online, including all the comparative regional analysis of history, peoples, and culture.  They also include maps of the regions within both Russia and the United States, showing how these regions transcend state or national borders as unique geographic identifiers.

Click here to see the book in its entirety.  Click here to see an index of the maps for America and Russia. 

The book concludes with a quote by Alexis de Tocqueville that I remember well from my college political philosophy courses–one of his more prescient quotes to be sure, but also one that strikes at the heart of two of the world’s great nations:

There are at the present time two great nations in the world which seem to tend toward the same end, although they started from different points: I allude to the Russians and Americans…their starting point is different, and their courses are not the same; yet each of them seems to be marked out by the will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe.

Thanks to Claire for another great recommendation!

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