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Thank you for your Original Content, /u/Tjukanov! I've added your flair as gratitude. Here is some important information about this post:

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[–]ThoughtfulYeti 5441 points5442 points  (299 children)

Is it possible to generate one of these from any other point in the map as well?

[–]WorseAstronomer 2497 points2498 points  (118 children)

A cool meta-post would be to repeat for every point on the map and only draw some kind of heat map for how often each point appears with each iteration.

[–]ghjm 1230 points1231 points  (99 children)

You'd need to do a little over 9 million route calculations. So it's do-able - just might take a while to produce. (And if you're using Google Maps you might run into API limits.)

[–]J4CKR4BB1TSL1MS 775 points776 points  (48 children)

If a mere 3k of us send OP a Google Maps API key, he might just be able to do it within a day.

[–]crazboy84 344 points345 points  (37 children)

everyone just do it from their hometown or something and have a list.

[–]BanzaiMuskrat 386 points387 points  (29 children)

That might actually be a good idea because with a big enough sample, it would effectively be weighted by population

[–]shortarmed 253 points254 points  (6 children)

At best, we could only say that it could approach a weighted representation of this subreddit. We do not have the data to make any further claims.

[–]Buromid 109 points110 points  (5 children)

At best, we could only say that it could approach a weighted representation of this subreddit.

Only at the time of seeing this post, and of those, only the ones that are able to contribute too ;)

[–]domuseid 52 points53 points  (15 children)

Great point, it'd be interesting to see the disparity between weighted and unweighted.

Weighted I imagine would end up looking somewhat similar to standard population density map though

[–]this__fuckin__guy 162 points163 points  (10 children)

"Alexa, please create a map like these guys want and post it so I can get more karma."

[–]Mindless_Zergling 78 points79 points  (8 children)

"Sorry, I don't know that one."

[–]this__fuckin__guy 141 points142 points  (6 children)

"Alexa, order me a google home thing so I can ask their guy to do it."

[–]spockspeare 16 points17 points  (2 children)

I feel the difference between that and a standard population density map would be a valuable indicator of underserved/overserved transportation areas and opportunities for residential/business development.

Just feel it.

[–]1maco 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Depends, Chicago and Atlanta would be huge while cities few people travel through like Boston, Miami, Seattle and LA would be smaller than in the population density map.

[–]SerEdgelord 61 points62 points  (18 children)

Speaking from the experience of having run a tracking algorithm from ~2 million data points, you're probably looking at 2~3 hours of 100% CPU usage.

[–]coilmast 28 points29 points  (15 children)

Thank God for the insane amount of threads on Ryzen, right?

[–]SerEdgelord 21 points22 points  (2 children)

Thank God Matlab has really good worker threads. Else the computation on my wheezing laptop would've taken a whole lot longer.

[–]Ginden 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Thank God Matlab has really good worker threads. Else the computation on my wheezing laptop would've taken a whole lot longer.

If you care about computation time, it's easier to get beefy instance in cloud for few hours. Eg. AWS EC2 c4.8xlarge costs $1.5/h but outclasses any laptop.

[–]DonLaFontainesGhost 29 points30 points  (9 children)

Let's be honest - anyone who's done this kind of work doesn't have a problem with the 9 million routes.

It's when you get the first one and you realize you made some stupid mistake so you have to run it again...

[–]seccret 36 points37 points  (3 children)

Or when you realize you just made a highway map of the US

[–]waterbottlesavage 11 points12 points  (4 children)

Or, you know, use a tool designed for it on your local machine like pgroute. Here's a PostGIS docker container to get your started. It's just a handful of database queries away.

[–]humantarget22 27 points28 points  (5 children)

Assuming the shortest route from A->B is the same shortest route from B->A (essentially ignoring one way streets, which should in most cases be possible since they should be a very small percentage of the total trip) you can actually cut this number down a lot.

There are 3007 counties

For county 1 you have to calculate 3006 routes For county 2 you have to calculate 3005 routes, you already know 2->1 For county 3 you have to calculate 3004 routes, you know 3->1 and 3->2

so the total is 3006+3005+3004...

That can be generalized to (n2 + n)/2 = (30062 + 3006)/2 = (9036036 + 3006)/2 = 9039042/2 = 4,519,521 routes to calculate

[–]shaggoramaViz Practitioner 11 points12 points  (0 children)

You can do better. When you're calculating the shortest path from C->B, if you encounter A you don't need to go further because you already know the shortest path from A->B.

If you really want to get into the math, here's a starting point: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betweenness_centrality#Algorithms

[–]flarpflarpflarpflarp 108 points109 points  (1 child)

You know, like a place people would actually want to go.

[–]anecdotal_yokel 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Yes and yes to /u/WorseAstronomer as well. I have done this literally thousands of times using ArcMap and the network analysis extension and using the US National Roads dataset(highly detailed and free. This is the easy but kinda slow way.

The free and harder but faster way is to use open source like postgis.

There really isn’t much to it. You just run the routing tools. The biggest challenge comes from the size of the network dataset and managing the output it generates. Just a lot of resources needed...

[–]Scarlet_Phire 1627 points1628 points  (142 children)

Interesting that a vein flows past Detroit through Michigan and into Canada (Ontario, then Quebec) to cross back into the US to 'touch' some of the Northeastern US counties.

EDIT: Some of you have pointed out that the main 'connector' is north of Detroit in Port Huron, Michigan.

[–]SockyTops 1082 points1083 points  (48 children)

As someone from Toronto, I can't imagine how driving through Toronto could ever be the optimal route for getting anywhere.

[–]ornryactor 2086 points2087 points  (22 children)

As a Detroiter who has visited Toronto multiple times, I can assure you that driving through Toronto is still significantly faster than driving through Lake Erie.

[–]breenmachine23 197 points198 points  (3 children)

Good laugh, thanks!

[–]WindupPodcast 79 points80 points  (11 children)

This sounds like the kind of quote that would end up in a Coffee Talk pamphlet but it would be about Canadian and American naval Captains, and there would be a whole backstory with one of them being a humble country boy, and the other an ivory-league intellectual who shouts a lot.

[–]CyanideSkittles 46 points47 points  (7 children)

I think you mean Ivy league

[–]mattsulli 45 points46 points  (2 children)

Shh let him keep thinking that, it’s cute.

[–]dumpster_arsonist 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Not with the recent crackdown on elephant hunting.

[–]MiddleAgesRoommates 51 points52 points  (0 children)

"I'm a lighthouse. Your call."

[–]quantum-mechanic 43 points44 points  (2 children)

Getting to western Maine is a total pain in the ass from inside the US. Its much faster to drive longer around the white/green mountains of VT and NH. Instead you take I-90 through Massachusetts, then I-495/95 up the coast of Maine until you decide you want to see more logging trucks than lobster traps. At that point you are on smaller back roads for about 3 hours. So going through Canada is definitely appealing.

[–]Ryalas 43 points44 points  (7 children)

As someone from Michigan.

Beats the Ohio toll trolls. We go through Canada annually to get to the eastern U.S.

[–][deleted] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

If calculation is based on miles rather than time... then it makes sense.

[–]Kilgore_Brown_Trout 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Us Michiganders will do anything to avoid the shithole that is Ohio.

[–]Cumberlandjed 82 points83 points  (14 children)

I've called northern NY or New England home since the late 80s, and can vouch for the accuracy of that routing. The eastern Great Lakes are a significant navigational barrier...

[–]playslikepage71 11 points12 points  (1 child)

As a WNY native that now lives in MI, I agree. Buffalo/Rochester to Detroit is fastest through Canada, even with the border crossings.

[–]istasber 87 points88 points  (8 children)

Detroit is the only major city in the US where you can drive due south and wind up in canada.

That's not relevant to this post, but it's a fun fact.

[–]ChargerMatt 49 points50 points  (5 children)

BORN AND RAISED IN SOUTH DETROIT!!!

[–]seeaanggg 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Which is technically called downriver.

[–]ChargerMatt 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Confirmed, am river rat.

[–]mad8vskillz 15 points16 points  (0 children)

took the midnight train south to ca-na-da

[–]goochockey 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Somewhat ironic because Canadians cut through the US when traveling across the country often

[–]Jkj864781 12 points13 points  (0 children)

So much easier to go under the Great Lakes through Michigan than over them.

[–]yodasonics 194 points195 points  (6 children)

I overlayed it over a map of the US to make it a little easier to read. Probably a lot of mistakes but it looks decent

[–]jtrack473 40 points41 points  (0 children)

wow, you're the real MVP

[–]yooper-pete 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I love maps, any chance of a high res version?

[–]TjukanovOC: 7[S] 636 points637 points  (279 children)

Data: © OpenStreetMap contributors via Graphhopper routing API.

Tools: Python, PostGIS, QGIS with Time Manager plugin, GIMP.

Animated version and more info about me can be found from my website here. Tutorial can be found here and my Twitter can be found here

[–]Cat2Rupert 182 points183 points  (222 children)

Is the center point in north Kansas or south Nebraska? This map is beautiful, really helps to humanize our country when you can see it's veins.

[–]ProudNitro 228 points229 points  (212 children)

North Kansas, specifically Lebanon, Kansas. Check out its Wiki page.

[–]asn0304 124 points125 points  (181 children)

I love how many places in the US borrow names from completely foreign countries. It's like there's too many little towns and they ran out of names.

[–]Dr__Flo__ 116 points117 points  (130 children)

I'm from Missouri, which also has a Lebanon. I grew up thinking it was pronounced "Leh-bin-in". Similarly, because of Versailles, MO, I thought the city in France was pronounced "Vehr-say-ls" until high school.

[–]SednaBoo 74 points75 points  (71 children)

In downstate Illinois there’s a Cairo, pronounced “Kay-Ro”

[–]alfredhelix 87 points88 points  (17 children)

All of these places are mentioned in Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It's a good book.

[–]Worst_Name_NA 29 points30 points  (7 children)

If you have any interest in Norse Mythology, Gaiman wrote a retelling of the most common Norse legends. I've already heard them through the Myths and Legends podcast, but Gaiman's love of it pours through the pages. I highly recommend it, if you're in to that.

[–]Dadonka 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I came here expecting an American God's reference, not disappointed.

[–]DrongoTheShitGibbon 16 points17 points  (21 children)

We also have a Marseilles (mar-sales), Bourbonnais (Burr-bone-us), and Des Planes (des-planes, lol). But if you go to Iowa you get Des Moines (duh-moy-nuh).

Im surprised we don't call our own state, Illinois (ill-uh-noise).

[–]Cadfan17 16 points17 points  (13 children)

There’s an area between Ohio and Indiana where all the names are French, butthe towns are rural and no one speaks French, or anything close to French. So they pronounce everything weird.

I took French in high school. I do not speak French at all. But I recognize pronunciation. I was once in the area and literally could not communicate with the locals about directions because they kept referring to all these roads and towns that weren’t on my map.

[–]deader115 4 points5 points  (3 children)

area between Ohio and Indiana

So, the state border?

Kidding, but as a former Hoosier I can relate, though I'm not really familiar with the east side of the state. I always appreciated all the foreign towns in Indiana. Mexico, Peru, Brazil, to name a few. Or the fact that we have a Michigan City.

Living in Colorado now, I hear all sorts of bastardized Spanish names, but my favorite is probably that we have a Louisville - pronounced English phonetically, unlike the Kentucky/French way.

[–]FallingOffALog 13 points14 points  (5 children)

We've got a Palestine in Texas. It's pronounced "palace-teen".

[–]SurlyRed 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Palace-teen for the Palace-teenians.

[–]Leucocephalus 7 points8 points  (5 children)

I got laughed at in college for saying "Monti-sell-o" because that's how we pronounced the town Monticello, Indiana.

[–]i_go_on_wine_runs 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I live near Versailles, IN. They pronounce it Ver-sails.

[–]collin-h 65 points66 points  (19 children)

In indiana we have:

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Syria
  • Germany
  • Angola
  • Honduras
  • Egypt
  • Holland
  • Ceylon
  • Lima
  • Manilla
  • Algiers
  • Athens
  • Cairo
  • Berlin
  • Dublin
  • Kingston
  • La Paz
  • London
  • Moscow
  • New Amsterdam
  • New Lisbon
  • New London
  • New Paris
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Vienna
  • Warsaw
  • Mecca

You'd think with all those town and city names Indiana residents would be more worldly and inclusive - but nope.

[–]pizzabagel2468 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Michigan has Hell so who's the real winner here???

[–]Imperial_Trooper 15 points16 points  (5 children)

My favorite is Mexico, Brazil, and Peru Indiana. For Mexico there's a giant arrow that says Mexico 1/2 mile

[–]DocAtDuq 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I used to drive past a place in the middle of Ohio called Cuba. Any time I drove on the road that had an arrow that said Cuba 5 miles that way I would turn to my girlfriend and say “boy I hope my car knows how to swim!!” I’ve done it 20+ times now and get an eye roll every time.

[–]i_go_on_wine_runs 6 points7 points  (2 children)

But people from Brazil, IN pronounce it Bray-zill.

[–]whogivesashirtdotca 9 points10 points  (1 child)

By a fountain back in Rome I fell in love with you

In a small cafe in Athens you said you loved me too

And it was April in Paris when I first held you close to me

Rome, Georgia, Athens, Texas and Paris, Tennessee

[–]Gilgie 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Its because America is a country of immigrants settled from all over the world who established towns and named them something from their home country interspersed with Native American names of many states and cities throughout the midwest.

[–]BoneHugsHominy 16 points17 points  (5 children)

They have a neat, modest shrine to their claim to fame. I made the drive one day after school (mid-90's) but I lived just an hour from there it wasn't much of a trip.

If anyone decides to make the trip, I strongly advise to follow the speed limits. These tiny towns in Kansas are heavily funded through traffic tickets so each one is set up to be a speed trap and they will nail you for whatever they can.

[–]darrellbear 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I once got nailed for speeding just outside a small town in western Kansas. The country was flat as a pool table, the road straight as an arrow. I'd just been passed by a big pickup going like a bat out of hell, it appeared to be chockfull of a family headed into town on a Friday night. The law let them go and nailed me instead, I assume because I was an outsider.

[–]Still_Putting_It_Off 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You can't give the family you go to church with a ticket. Makes that hour extra uncomfortable.

[–]Okeano_ 11 points12 points  (9 children)

I don't know what the computational requirement would be. But it would be really awesome to have an app like this, but the center point is always your current location.

[–]TjukanovOC: 7[S] 13 points14 points  (7 children)

Hmm... it would require quite a lot of pre-processing for the data. Would be cool, but not sure if it would be worth the trouble?

[–]Trey5169 5 points6 points  (2 children)

The fact that there are no state lines is /r/mildlyannoying to me, but I bet it looks cleaner without state lines than with them. Beautiful nonetheless!

[–]Knoxie_89 1661 points1662 points  (149 children)

It'd be cool see the optimal road map for getting to every major city, if we were to rebuild the entire US interstate system.

edit: For all those people who keep saying the same thing. I mean if we were to rebuild all the roads. OR, instead of rebuilding the roads, maybe it'd be more realistic to map the most efficient map for Elon's Hyperloop to reach all the major cities in US. Lets say any city that in the greater metropolitan area has over 500k people.

[–]elvk 1300 points1301 points  (14 children)

If someone wants to put in the work, I’d upvote that

[–]iWETtheBEDonPURPOSE 59 points60 points  (13 children)

there is no optimal way to get into Boston...

[–]Knoxie_89 78 points79 points  (6 children)

The most optimal way to get into boston is go there once, and never leave. Then walk everyewhere you need to go.

[–]iWETtheBEDonPURPOSE 24 points25 points  (2 children)

did that for about 5 years, but then rent just got to expensive... so i had to leave

[–]daimposter 24 points25 points  (1 child)

The mistake is that you didn't make a shit load more money while there.

[–]nachtmere 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Schoolboy error.

[–]Lurking4Justice 27 points28 points  (1 child)

I sacrificed a goat before I got on masspike once worked like a charm all the way to Newton...

[–]Das_Texan 203 points204 points  (57 children)

Well in my travels, it seems that the interstate system sacrifices more direct routes to hit some of the bigger towns. It's pretty efficient as is. Like I-20 and Abilene, Tx. Then I-20 goes and meets I-10 at some awkward spot in BFE I'm sure to save cost.

[–]apt41790 275 points276 points  (37 children)

What if the interstate hits bigger towns because those towns got bigger because the interstate goes through them?

[–]Robots_Never_Die 182 points183 points  (25 children)

I drove across the US twice taking Route 66. It was very clear when i40 and other interstates were built the towns they didn't go through dwindled.

From the old buildings you could tell these Main St's were once busy and the artery of the town. Then the interstate is built and no one needs to drive through or stop at these podunk towns. It was really interesting and sad to see.

[–]CyberFreq 152 points153 points  (2 children)

As noted in the classic documentary "Cars"

E: dammit I thought I was being original

[–]aeneasaquinas 20 points21 points  (0 children)

You beat them to it by 2 minutes.

[–]ReverendMak 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Well, you were the only one to say it in a way that is clear to someone who’s never seen Cars, without forcing them to follow a link.

So you’ve got that going for you.

[–]UnpopularCrayon 173 points174 points  (5 children)

They made a fascinating documentary about it. Highly recommend.

[–]sdonnervt 156 points157 points  (3 children)

As it was loading: Please be Cars.

[–]2112xanadu 45 points46 points  (2 children)

It's funny, because I've never seen Cars, but when I traveled Route 66 a few years ago I noticed that there was a lot of memorabilia related to that movie in stores and restaurants along the road. Now I know why.

[–]Robots_Never_Die 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Yea the locals really seemed to like the movie as I felt it was a very accurate portrayal.

Saw quite a few eyes painted or put behind the windshields of historic cars.

[–]skudd_ 76 points77 points  (4 children)

Who would think a children's movie could actually transmit a very important message about how a minor change in the road sistem changes people's lives.

[–]greengiant89 33 points34 points  (2 children)

Have you seen wall-e?

[–]TenNeon 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I completely missed the embedded road-system message in Wall-e.

[–]dwibbles33 47 points48 points  (4 children)

That's what happened in my area (Central New York). The village I live in used to be bigger than the neighboring city during the railroad days. Once I-81 got built my town shrunk a bit, another one nearby used to have a University and had one of the first black professors. It is now a tiny village with some farms. The city is much bigger than the neighboring towns all due to the interstate weaving through the hills.

[–]abraburger 16 points17 points  (1 child)

No doubt that’s true, but upgrades from small highways to interstates also kill small towns as well. Without the required slowing/stopping, the whole town dries up of business.

[–]katarh 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The nearest access point to I-85 from my city touched on the other edge of a small town. The intersection with the interstate built up into a major shopping area and had to become it's own separate micro town, but the old historic downtown area is now the residential area.

Really depends on which direction the interstate hits the town.

[–]Knoxie_89 13 points14 points  (12 children)

The midwest states are probably pretty efficient since theres so much land. I imagine the east and west coast could use some adjustments.

[–]EchusChasma 22 points23 points  (1 child)

The west does have gigantic mountains and canyons in the way for a lot of routes though.

[–]collin-h 12 points13 points  (9 children)

I live in Indiana and the one thing I always appreciated was how efficient the interstates seemed to be - which is appropriate for a state that is the so-called "crossroads of america" - You take I-65, 69, 74, and 70, and is bisects the states into pie-like slices centered on Indianapolis which is dang near the geographic center of the state. It makes for easy and logical navigation knowing you have those main, almost equally space arteries that'll take you to a hub.

[–]Aurailious 30 points31 points  (2 children)

I think they tested this with bacteria samples and the current interstate matches that really well.

[–]katarh 22 points23 points  (1 child)

[–]DrImpeccable76 13 points14 points  (0 children)

They’ve done both....growing slime mold is pretty easy.

[–]qatest 36 points37 points  (11 children)

Optimal when disregarding terrain? Because aside from obvious things like mountains and lakes, there are a lot of other geographical factors on pathways

[–]hisnameisjai 432 points433 points  (34 children)

From Texas and by the looks of this, it’s saying to go down I 35 for most of traveling north to south. 35 ain’t optimized for shit. They’ve been “optimizing” it for the last 10 years.

[–]Firemanz 225 points226 points  (2 children)

"One day you'll love this road"

[–]MissRule 91 points92 points  (0 children)

The day I no longer have to take it.

[–]informedvoice 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Due to stockholm syndrome, maybe.

[–]anon_in_colorado 43 points44 points  (3 children)

I’ve always thought that 10 years ago some company pitched “here’s how we’ll fix everything” with words like “sweeping overpasses” and everyone signed off on the terrible idea that is the highway system in Fort Worth and everyone has been paying for it ever since. It’s impossible the get around that city without GPS if you’re not from there and going any further than downtown to the Zoo.

[–]UnpopularCrayon 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Definitely longer than 10 years, but I always love visiting the Dalls Ft. Worth area.

Me: "I need to go to that starbucks 100 feet way across that street."

GoogleMaps: "Your destination is 6 miles away. You will arrive in 15 minutes."

[–]pedantic_cheesewheel 7 points8 points  (1 child)

It’s wonderful on a bicycle honestly. I had no problems around the stockyards or downtown. Now getting from the stockyards to downtown was terrifying.

[–]kaiaoath483 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I live off of I-35 in Kansas. It is always under construction here. It’s always the worst and I always think it can’t be worse, but then I drive to Austin and I realize it’s something we all struggle through. The whole highway is a mess.

[–]FlatusGiganticus 76 points77 points  (3 children)

They’ve been “optimizing” it for the last 10 years.

It's been a shithole (see what I did there?) for far longer than 10 years. I don't remember EVER driving between SA and Dallas and NOT hitting huge patches of construction. It seems like they get it widened and improved just in time to start widening and improving it.

[–]ArrakeenSun 11 points12 points  (4 children)

"Another accident outside Temple? May as well pull off at Buc-ee's and wait for it to blow over." - Me, about once a month

[–]baalroo 19 points20 points  (7 children)

35 turns to garbage the moment you cross the border from Kansas into Oklahoma.

[–]breakers 10 points11 points  (0 children)

It really is a nightmare. I dread every minute of I-35 travel.

[–]znottaken 187 points188 points  (23 children)

How is this optimized? Is it by distance or are traffic conditions/speed limits accounted for?

[–]NoOneSeemsToMind 142 points143 points  (14 children)

There's no way it by simple distance

If it was pure distance you wouldn't see every nearby county sharing trunk routes and branching at the last minute. There's almost always a unique shorter path through slower local roads.

[–]Lovv 66 points67 points  (3 children)

You're right, if would be going through dirt roads and tiny residential streets. I'm guessing they factored speed limits in and probably gave highways preferance because you don't have to stop.

[–]lazarus78 56 points57 points  (0 children)

and probably gave highways preferance because you don't have to stop.

laughs in Californian

[–]HowIsntBabbyFormed 24 points25 points  (3 children)

If it was pure distance you wouldn't see every nearby county sharing trunk routes and branching at the last minute. There's almost always a unique shorter path through slower local roads.

That's not true, especially at this scale.

If you're traveling thousands of miles from the center of the US to, say, two neighboring counties in Maine, you don't think the path will look like it would branch at the last minute?

You think there's a shortest path to one county that's vastly different to the shortest path to a neighboring county? That of course does happen, but it produces exactly this type of graph. Look at Florida. There's one major path going down the center of the state, but there's also a path that leads to the panhandle in the north west of the state. These two paths start off in completely different directions from the center of the country (one headed east, the other south), but the tendrils at the end get very close, serving neighboring counties.

You can also see the affect in southern California and western Texas. The small end paths of different major trunks coming close together after spending hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

[–]metalliska 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I was wondering this too, especially if distance accounts for changes in elevation .

[–]BushWeedCornTrash 83 points84 points  (12 children)

I propose a race. A Cannonball run type of event where drivers start on both coasts, and race toward the geographical center. I haven't figured out the finish line details yet...

[–]unclerico87 46 points47 points  (3 children)

You could have a finish line like this post from the front page https://i.imgur.com/QA7QzfR.gifv

[–]brad-n 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I bet he was playing We Are the Champions in his cab.

[–]kcirvam 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I haven't figured out the finish line details yet...

drive a semi through it

[–]skellysd 70 points71 points  (7 children)

If you add in Alaska and Hawaii, the Center of the United States is moved to my home town of Belle Fourche, SD.

“In 1959, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey officially designated a point 20 miles north of Belle Fourche as the geographic center of the United States. It is the center of the nation because the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the United States moved the location of the official center of the nation. The geographic center of the 48 contiguous U.S. states is Lebanon, Kansas.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Fourche,_South_Dakota

[–]RainbowEatingPandas 15 points16 points  (4 children)

Thank you for posting this, as someone from Alaska I was feeling very left out of this geographic center. Maybe Continental center, but Alaska and Hawaii are apart of the geographic USA as well.

[–]HugCollector 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Not even continental center, that would include Alaska, this is a contiguous center. The continental center would likely be in Alberta, CA.

However, to be fair, if you take OP's link to their website, it does say "geographical center of the contiguous United States".

[–]Zwolfer 53 points54 points  (9 children)

This is beautiful. I love how it looks like veins on a leaf, a waterway map or a nervous system. Isn’t it interesting how patterns repeat from small to large scale?

[–]thats_not_marxist 7 points8 points  (0 children)

"nature only has a handful of tricks!" - my friend, once

[–]viktor72 20 points21 points  (5 children)

Can you overlay a county map? This would be great for me because one of my hobbies is trying to visit every county.

[–]dorkish 68 points69 points  (9 children)

What about the parishes?? Jk, I like this presentation style. It's not something I've seen in here before, nice work!

[–]DebitsOnTheLeft 13 points14 points  (1 child)

How do you think Alaska feels? They don't have counties AND they're not even on the map.

[–]omicrom35 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Indeed shouldn't there be a empty area for Louisiana. XD

[–]Dr_Smoothrod_PhD 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Yeah I'm confused by this word "county" as well.

[–]Minerva89 48 points49 points  (40 children)

What's the closest settlement to the geographic center?

That should be a tourist attraction.

[–]WaffleMonsters 99 points100 points  (16 children)

According to Wikipedia, it's Lebanon Kansas. Also note there is a concrete marker and flag, so that's pretty exciting.

[–]staefrostae 47 points48 points  (14 children)

There's absolutely no tourist appeal in Lebanon, Kansas

[–]SickBurnBro 23 points24 points  (12 children)

There's probably more tourist appeal in the country Lebanon.

[–]Monolith1011 60 points61 points  (17 children)

There is! Fun fact the actual geographical center is in the middle of a pigs pen and the farmer refused to sell his land. So the attraction center is about a mile away from it.

Source: I live about 30 miles from it

[–]Geronimo15 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Does the farmer advertise his pig pen as the real center with a janky wooden sign?

[–]movieman56 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I too have read American Gods

[–]KansasMannn 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Just took my girlfriend there a couple months ago. Just a short drive from the worlds biggest ball of twine. Wow! North Central Kansas just has tons to offer, doesn’t it.

[–]ymcameron 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You would think, but according to American Gods, it is a place to be avoided at all costs.

[–]being_here 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Ok, next time I'm in the geographical center of the United States, and need to travel to a specific county by car, I'll pull up this map.

[–]paulakay68 39 points40 points  (12 children)

I hate to poke at flaws, but Ohio has 88 counties and it does not look like there are even close to that many.

[–]ornryactor 33 points34 points  (0 children)

That's because the map shows a grid, not county lines.

[–]HowIsntBabbyFormed 19 points20 points  (2 children)

If a path travels through a county to get to another, the endpoint would be mid-line and you wouldn't necessarily see an endpoint.

If you overlayed this map on a county map of Ohio, do you think there'd be a county that didn't contain a path?

[–]JonaerysStarkaryen 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You have to really, really zoom in. I was about to say the same for parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

[–]d-moo88 43 points44 points  (17 children)

If you used Washington DC as the center point, how does it turn out? I feel like that would have more meaning behind it.

[–]pandaeconomics 68 points69 points  (16 children)

This or a series with major cities like New York, Boston, DC, Chicago, Miami, Austin and/or Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Chicago, Denver, LA, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, or whatnot in a 4x4 high res that could be zoomed into. I'm obsessed with maps and would love to see something like that.

Edit: I have no explanation for my Chicago love (hate?). I haven't even been Chicago but I think it became a filler for middle country cities. I'm a coastal dweller. My bad!

[–]birkbyjack 62 points63 points  (8 children)

You said Chicago thrice

[–]db82 38 points39 points  (0 children)

He clearly meant Chicago, Illinois; Chicago, Kansas; and Chicago, Zimbabwe.

[–]sixfourtykilo 35 points36 points  (0 children)

that person is REALLLLLLY interested in how to get the F out of Chicago.

[–]Call_Me_Kenneth_ 15 points16 points  (0 children)

It's neat that this isn't laid over a map of the US, but I can see the state borders in my head when I look at this.

[–]StingerGHOST1 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Interesting that the best route to Maine appears to be through Canada. I guess that would be somewhat obvious to anyone who's familiar with driving through other countries to get somewhere, given that it IS the shortest straight-line distance. Still interesting that you can drive from one country into another, then exit the second country and re-enter the first, all while travelling in a straight line.

[–]Juddston 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I've been to the geographic center of the 48 states. There's not much there except a small park and a sign. It's really the only place in Kansas that's in the middle of somewhere.

[–]ayb88 4 points5 points  (1 child)

omg, everyone talking about technical data and calculations and all I want to know is the exact location of the point where all the roads meet.

[–]porncrank 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Interesting how much it looks like veins, or roots, or rivers, or any other naturally evolved distribution system. This pattern is a fundamental feature of the universe.

[–]makingbutter 4 points5 points  (6 children)

Is this easy to do? It would be cool to see one that connects all the state capitals or national parks so you could create the ultimate roadtrip.

[–]kitanata2 4 points5 points  (1 child)

That's a minimal spanning tree. You can generate mazes from them. I think it would be super cool to see a maze based on this.