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Draw a map of the United States with every physical feature removed except for the roads, and you would be surprised how familiar the country still looks.  Four million miles of pavement cover this giant nation, but they are not distributed evenly.  In urban areas, the roads are so dense that they create a dark blob, with sinewy webs representing highways radiating outward.  But many thousands of square miles also lay bare, showing the presence of mountains, forests, and lakes.  The important role roads play in the US becomes clears as you look upon the map and see how the urban centers and main topographical features of the country stand out.

This map was created by the design firm Fathom, and comes to us courtesy of Fast Company.  The firm also created a map for each of the fifty states.  It is fascinating to examine each one and see how the features of the state are reflected in the outline of the roads.

Here’s my home state of Connecticut.  It is pretty filled up with roads, though there are some very large, empty areas outside of Fairfield County and the Greater Hartford Area.

Map of Connecticut Roads (via Fast Company)

Next is New York.  See how dense it is in New York City and Long Island.  The large open areas upstate represent the Adirondacks and Catskills.

Map of New York Roads (via Fast Company)

Finally, I want to show the map of Colorado.  In the east, the terrain is still flat, and the roads follow a grid.  However, the western side is mountainous, and the roads become sparser and curvier.   I don’t even have to know where Denver is to guess that it’s at the center of the massive black blob in the top-middle of the state.

Map of Colorado Roads (via Fast Company)

They have a map for every state at the link below.  How does your state look?  What other interesting features can you find?

Source: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3039983/visualizing/these-beautiful-maps-show-how-much-of-the-us-is-paved-over

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