Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Perceived boundaries

An interesting new study attempts to come up with physical representations of people's working geographies -- e.g., where does New York City end and Upstate New York begin? An interesting undertaking, both philosophical and practical in import; they specifically mention the fight against gerrymandering as a potential application. (They're also looking at who roots for which sports teams as a marker for self-identity.)

We've had some interesting discussions locally about where various neighborhoods in Philadelphia begin and end -- it's partly historic, partly evolving, and partly aspirational. But in no degree does it correspond to political or other physical boundaries. Would love to be able to poll everybody in town and come up with a map that way...

(via Follow Me Here)


AboveAvgJane said...

I've had some very interesting discussions with people on where the Midwest beings and ends, too. It does seem to be a very personal thing.

ACM said...

yeah, that's a HUGE one. I grew up in Michigan in the family of a historian, so my definition of Midwest was based on the original use, when "the west" was the Louisiana Purchase, and CA and WA didn't exist -- then "mid-west" was regions like Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. now, most folks don't know how to categorize Ohio and want to add Iowa and/or Missouri (once a slave state! lemme tell you, I lived there and they are delusional that they have anything in common with the midwest!) to the batch (having let distinctions like "the plain states" fall by the wayside). not sure that this one would yield well to just asking the residents, though, although the difference between their answers and those of the rest of the country would be illuminating.