Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Deconstructing Metros

Neil Freeman's rather postmodern fake is the new real site has a graphic of the "fifty largest metro areas (in blue), disaggregated from their states (in orange). Each has been scaled and sorted according to population. The metro areas are US-Census defined CBSAs and MSAs":

metro state map disaggregation

This actually took me a while to figure out, but what seems to be going on is that metro areas and states minus their top-50 metro area populations are scaled to population and ranked in that order. Actually pretty interesting: it shows how much of the US population lives in those 50 cities vs. the rest of the country.

And by the way, I still don't believe Jacksonville actually exists, let alone that it's one of the 50 largest urban areas in the US. Have you ever met anyone from there? Have you ever, like, heard of someone taking a trip to Jacksonville? Didn't think so. And yet we're supposed to believe it's home to 1.3 million people? Please.

Via urban cartography.

23 comments:

Gus Snarp said...

I used to live in Jacksonville. It is in fact very large.

Gus Snarp said...

OK, I looked at the map. I've lived in 6 of the 50 largest metros, and Jacksonville is listed as the smallest of those six. I am actually surprised at how low on the list it is.

James D said...

There are a couple of other fake cities there. I don't believe that Riverside and Virginia Beach exist. In the former case, I'm sure the Pomona Valley was built up a long time ago, and I can't work out why it didn't get subsumed into LA in the last census. And the latter case is the highest-ranked example of why it's a bad idea to mention the largest city first, rather than the one with the highest commercial importance -- anyone who isn't a Census Bureau donkey knows that the core city there's called Norfolk.

But returning to triviality, it's quite satisfying how Ohio has ended up being O-shaped.

Chachy said...

Gus - so you're in on the conspiracy too, huh? Whatever, I'll believe it when I see it. And I never will, because Jacksonville doesn't exist.

Jimmy D - Good point. And I don't know why Riverside-San Bernardino-Whatever is it's own MSA but like Orange County isn't. What's the distinction? It's all part of the So Cal sprawlscape.

Richard said...

Hell, I've never met anyone from New Orleans, so should I pretend that it doesn't exist as well?

Gus Snarp said...

Hmm, I lived in Norfolk too. You would start a fight if you started claiming one city was or wasn't more important in the Tidewater area. And to anyone outside of it, I think Virginia Beach is as good a name as any, it's the city people come to visit, Norfolk is just a Navy base.

Andrew B said...

I've taken a trip to Jacksonville.

Tim said...

i like how little of Maryland and New Jersey are left. And did i miss it or is Rhode Island completely gone after being carved up by Providence and presumably Boston?

Lauren said...

The borders of the city of Jacksonville were expanded to include nearly all of the county in which it was contained, making it the largest city by area in the contiguous States. My guess is that's why it's so populous.

There really should be a rule about how big cities can get... or perhaps link it to population density or something! The largest city by area in the entire US? Yakutat, AK. Its population? 808.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_area

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NothingNow said...

I've been to Jacksonville, and I know a few people from there. I have no Idea why anyone would want to however.

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