Wikipedia talk:WikiProject United States regions/Maps

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WikiProject United States (Rated Project-class)
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This page is part of WikiProject U.S. regions space.

New maps[edit]

The new maps are now available, except for the Midwest, in the new format and base map. Please limit your discussion here to what states are or are not included in each region, the standard map caption, Miketherocker's desire to see parts of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado included in the Midwest, and the general idea of including parts—rather than all of a state—in a particular regions. As to the idea of shading part of states rather than all of the, I'm inclined not to endorse this idea. Not only would we have to worry about discord over which states should be included in a region, but also fight about how much of a given state should be included. I will however implement whatever the participants decide. -JCarriker 17:49, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


I feel these maps are well formated! εγκυκλοπαίδεια* (talk) 16:53, 10 December 2005 (UTC) 17:56, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm assuming then that there is no opposition to the maps or the caption. If there is none by 12:00 UTC Novermber 15, I will begin implementing the maps series. -JCarriker 18:44, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Um, that's either 27 days ago or 338 days away. -- Jmabel | Talk 02:15, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The maps have been in place for 27 days.-JCarriker 08:07, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Western United States[edit]

It's highly inappropriate to put the West Coast states in a different color than the "Western United States" - California is clearly and inseparably part of the American West. You cannot argue that the place where so many Western movies were shot (Alabama Hills) is somehow "not Western." Much of California, in fact, is the terrain that defines the West in modern culture. Moreover, the history of the American West cannot be told without telling the story of California. There is no separating California from Nevada or Arizona or Colorado. They share a common thread of history in the winding course of water. I would request that the map be changed. FCYTravis 02:48, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

I largely disagree, but would suggest that this be settled by citation. I would agree that eastern California, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington are part of the American West. However:
  1. The West Coast had significant European settlement by the mid-19th century. San Francisco was a city of almost a quarter million people when Denver was a town of 35,000. Quite a difference in history. California joined the Union in 1850. At the time, it was almost as distant from the rest of the Union as Alaska is today.
  2. "…thread… in the winding course of water" is such a mixed metaphor I'm not sure what it is supposed to mean. If it means, literally, that the course of water determines a region, you are going to have to place Minneapolis in the American South. Or New Orleans in the North Central States.
  3. If movie locales tell the story, then you are going to be stuck including Almería, Spain in the American West.
Jmabel | Talk 01:19, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
It means that the history of California's development is inextricable from the history of the American West - and the history of the American West hinges on one thing, water. Have you read Cadillac Desert? In the American West, as they say, water flows uphill to money. Los Angeles would be a spot on the map had they not pumped water hundreds of miles from the Owens River, the Colorado and the Sacramento, to quench the thirst of the San Fernando Valley subdivisions. Las Vegas would have never existed if not for the cheap water and power supplied by Hoover Dam, built to manage water for the benefit of Southern Californians. The West's "fertile" agricultural breadbaskets would be barren wastelands were it not for the Bureau of Reclamation. The San Francisco Bay Area would have dried up and blown away if it wasn't for municipal pipelines stretching across the Central Valley to tap the Sierra Nevadas. Lake Powell would not be a lake were it not for the Upper Colorado Basin demanding a dam as stupendous as Hoover to save "their" water from going to Nevada, Arizona and California. In short, the American West would not exist as we know it today without the most extensive dam, aqueduct and water management systems ever conceived by mankind. Denver, Phoenix, the fertile fields of Idaho, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, the farmlands of western Colorado - all depend on stupendous man-made water constructs. You cannot separate Los Angeles from Las Vegas, San Francisco from Phoenix, simply because one is "red" and the other "blue." That is a temporary, fleeting thing. The singular enduring legacy of the Western United States is the war over water - a war, I might add, that is far from over. As for significant European settlement, by that standard New Mexico is not part of the American West, as Santa Fe was a major outpost of the Spanish Empire beginning in 1607. San Francisco was a major city but Los Angeles and Southern California languished... because they had no water. FCYTravis 02:59, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
What you say about being linked by water is true, but, again that does not preclude being considered different regions. Again, I invoke the Mississippi River. Or the Danube. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:59, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
There have been no water wars fought over the Mississippi, because there's plenty of water. The story of the Western United States is a *lack* of water, and California shares that lack of water with Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and everywhere else west of the Rockies and south of the Cascades. All government agencies consider California to be part of the Western United States, including the USGS [1] National Weather Service [2] the USDA [3], the EPA [4] and virtually every private group - the Western Aquatic Plant Management Society [5], Hosteling International Western Region [6], the Potash and Phosphate Institute [7], the University of California at Berkeley [8], etc.
Now I think clearly there can be delineated sociological and cultural differences in subregions of the Western United States - but that is why the Census Bureau delineates these sort of sub-regions, the "Mountain West" and the "Pacific Coast." Both are part of the Western United States, much as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are both part of the Eastern United States. FCYTravis 09:17, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I think what is at the heart of the matter here is if the Pacific states are truly a seperate region or if they are a subregion of the West. For example West Texas is the Southwest and East Texas is the Southeast; they are seperate and distninct regions and as a result—since all of Texas needs to be highlighted—Texas is not considered to always be part of either region. I'd appreciate it if both of y'all could address this point. Thanks. -JCarriker 10:02, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I brought this up on the talk page for Western United States, though I guess this is a better place. Under what definition Wisconsin and Illinois would be considered a part of the American West? If it is only under the definition that they were part of the old Northwest Territory, then this should extend to Michigan, Indiana, and even Ohio. There is really nothing that culturally distinguishes Wisconsin from Michigan or Illinois from Indiana in their "westernness", and geographically those two states are as far west as Mississippi, which is not included. Triphook 22:29, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

If their are no objections over the next few days I will remove both Illinois and Wisconsin from the map. -JCarriker 22:32, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Since their have been no objections, have made the requested changes. -JCarriker 06:43, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

What is the justification for the entire row of states that are currently the eastern most states included in the "West" map? Peyna 23:44, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Not my doing, but I'm guessing that it is on the theory that the West begins at the Mississippi. A New Englander would use the term this way; a New York City resident would agree but joke that the West really begins at the Hudson. Not sure if anyone much west of the Hudson would include, say, Iowa in the West, though. - Jmabel | Talk 01:49, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Ohio and its map coloring[edit]

I was wondering if you would consider reshading the map for the Midwest so that Ohio appears as a striped state as opposed to a solid state.

The regional definition for Ohio has proved to be particularly controversial/troublesome (as indicated by Ohio's talk page, the Midwest's talk page, the Midwest article itself, and the history of the Ohio article which defined, for a not insignificant period of time, Ohio as an "Eastern" state.) How one defines Ohio regionally seems to depend on a many factors (Ohioans themselves seem to be torn for a variety of reasons (some of which are discussed in the Midwest article.))

The current wording regarding Ohio's region, on its article page, implies a historical affinity for the term Midwest, which is not universally accepted today, especially in light of Ohio being (justifiably) a transitional region. (I might add that I wrote that text and I'm delighted that it has withstood the test of time unchanged--and you'll note that as well.)

These pages have indeed instructed that the census bureau region definitions are not justification for locking a state within one region or another. And while the historical roots of the Northwest Ordinance are what give Ohio the historical affinity toward the Midwest, as discussed above, the cultural nature of its economy and demographics are what have moved Ohio to the east and south and give it the confusion we have today.

In light of the fact that there is a functional preference for not having a state which is part solid/part striped, striping Ohio on the Midwest map would bring it inline with other Wikipedia content indicating that Ohio is not entirely/always/usually considered a part of the Midwest.

Regards, Jimbobjoe 05:29, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Relevent links: Ohio, Talk:Ohio, Midwest, Talk:Midwest. Just providing direct links for the pages mentioned above. -JCarriker 07:42, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. Ohio is very infrequently considered to be anything but Midwestern. Your insertion has "withstood the test of time unchanged" because it is true. Ohio was historically considered to be part of the Midwest- and still is! The Economist quote proves it, acknowledging that it's "part north-eastern and part southern," but calling it a "slice of the mid-west." Ohio IS usually considered a part of the Midwest, and the map should reflect that. --Confiteordeo 20:16, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

We should be careful not to engage in original research. Peyna 23:41, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I hope that wasn't directed towards me, especially after I just quoted the article from the Ohio page. Just for our benefit, Merriam-Webster's definition of the Midwest explicitly includes Ohio [9], while the entry for Ohio describes the census region (north-east central.) The Columbia Online Encyclopedia article also places Ohio in the Midwest[10], and the article on the Midwest corroborates this [11]. There are any number of resources available that do the same.Confiteordeo 01:10, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
It was a general comment. I just noticed a lot of people seem to base their arguments regarding what state is in what region based on their own personal experience or assumptions that "people in X refer to people in Y as Z's." Peyna 02:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Excellent point. The problem is exacerbated by the lack of definitive regional definitions, but if we look hard enough, we can generally find consensusesConfiteordeo 05:20, 10 August 2006 (UTC).

Southeastern United States[edit]

I would like to suggest revising the Southeastern U.S. map, as it currently doesn't agree with the article text. Spefically, the article defines the Southeastern United States as always including Tennessee and North Carolina while the map shows them as "sometimes" states. I would agree with the article text on this one. Also note that the Tennessee and North Carolina articles both state that they are states in the Southeastern U.S. in their intros. Kaldari 23:55, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Well apparently the Tennessee intro got changed to "Southern", but either is accurate. Kaldari 23:56, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
This was brought to my attention several days ago, and I directed Kaldari here. My research turns up, that while Tennessee and North Carolina are not always included in the Southeast, neither are Alabama, Mississippi, nor Florida. I believe that it would be pedantic to alter the map to partially shade those states, as such if there are no objections within the next few days I will change the map to reflect TN and NC having the same status as MS and AL. I believe that this is an example of when the spirit of policy should take precedence over the letter, as has been established as a precedent in other maps. As such if there are no objections in the next few days I will make the requested changes. -JCarriker 00:08, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
From a few casual Google image searches, I would say that Tennessee and North Carolina are included in the "Southeast" over 75% of the time. Kentucky and Virginia may be candidates for "sometimes" states, as they seem to show up in about 1/3rd of the samples (probably about as often as Texas). Are there any "official" sources we're going by, or just trying to average as many samples as possible? Kaldari 03:20, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

After repeated edit warring on that page over inclusion of states, I added actual data on usage of "Southeast" / "Southeastern US", finding a great deal of difference. Conflict continued and I addressed it by making the article introduction emphasize the variety in definitions, rather than presenting a single definition as unequivocal fact. Finally, we had to get rid of the map as there continued to be arguments about shading of states on the map. The page seems to have finally stabilized for now. --JWB 09:23, 18 August 2007 (UTC)


I would like to note that Virginia is almost always regarded a Southern and South-East state and should be regarded as so. I dont think that it should be in the "sometime" column for the North-East map, furthermore I think it should be included in the South-East map, as it is included in the Southern U.S. map. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22 October 2006.

Concur on unquestionably Southern. Not sure of use of South-East; I would not include it in North-East. - Jmabel | Talk 00:25, 26 October 2006 (UTC)