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More on the visited counties map

Update: to all those who stumble across this entry and wish to undertake this giant task, ignore most of what's below (except to download the blank maps and whatnot) and instead download a free trial of Keyhole, which will allow you to pull up highway and county boundary data. I recommend this over the NACO maps and other sites suggested below.

I don't really recommend doing a visited counties map unless you're a map dork like me and have photoshop+a lot of time, but in case you do, here are the resources that helped me along.

Christopher Swindle deserves first billing for providing maps to color in and links to various resources. This should be your first stop.

World Atlas does a pretty good job of linking to various map resources on other sites, indexed by states. NACO has county maps for all fifty states and will also list the county seat (often the city that you are looking for). Virginia DOT and Texas DOT have good interactive tools, and North Carolina DOT, Connecticut DOT, and Arizona TPD provide descent maps.

If all else fails, you can enter in the driving route on Mapquest and slowly pan. At the correct zoom level it will show you county line markings and names.

Finally, you can checkout del.icio.us/nowhun/gis, which is a full list of the resources I used to compile my maps.

To demonstrate that I'm not the only map dork out there, I've included an IM conversation in the extended entry.

meta: dork.
me: you realize that you are a dork in different ways, right? ms. I-own-every-piece-of-paper-I've-ever-touch-and-collect-jesus-pamplets
me: :P
meta: hahaha
me: you have a paper fetish
me: i have a map fetish
meta: those will be handy someday!
me: i'll never be lost!
meta: yes yes....
me: and in the end, i think i win out on that one, because your Michael Dorn signature isn't going to get you help anywhere but a Star Trek convention
meta: :P
meta: well, if the map is on paper.
me: they're in my head
meta: i was looking at this old map i was using for a road trip...
meta: and i was like, why did i write $2.08 in palo alto?
meta: and i started seeing other prices i'd written...
meta: realized it was gas prices.
me: DORK!
meta: $1.11 somewhere in kentucky. :)
me: you're collecting multifactor data on your maps
meta: well, DUH!
me: you could do a tufte plot
meta: hahaha
me: the distance between annotations would indicate gas tank range
me: the prices would indicate both stopping points and prices
meta: yeah, though that might get messed by detours taken.
meta: yup.
me: well, rather than gas tank range, i guess it would show how much time you spent in a particular region
meta: that might help...

Comments (1)

Great job with the maps! I never thought of using color-coding, that's an interesting idea. Anyway, nice to know there are other "map dorks" out in the world!

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