Digging to Roam

38 States Instead of 50?

map usa travel landscape

In 1973 George Etzel Pearcy, with a strong political backing, proposed a remapping of the United States of America. The plan would have isolated larger cities, reducing the number of cities vying for a state’s tax dollars. The state lines would have moved into a more ‘natural’ boundaries, such as rivers and mountains. But because his plan called for an overhauling of the USA’s infrastructure the government backed out and it (obviously) never went into action.

It’s similar to the cartographic errors of the common world map which makes Greenland and Africa the same size. The Peter’s Projection Map (or the Gall-Peters Projection Map) adjusts these spaces to their ‘true’ sizes in relation to each other.

The major importance of mapping and remapping is how people of the world are represented. By misrepresenting their space, they are reduced to numbers and skewed in proportions.

The act of mapping, with political names (Chinese Taipei vs Taiwan) and non-real boundaries, is a problem within itself. The land is only marked off by peoples involved (or forced to be involved) in the majority culture. Land-ownership, as we practice it, puts humans so far ‘above’ any life on this planet that non-human life is all but forgotten. Fences prevent natural migration and harm native species.

Maps are the political representation of space and peoples, your world view is most likely laid out on the map you saw throughout secondary school.

Kristance Harlow

August 26, 2008

Find help for a crisis by texting, calling, or chatting online with these free crisis organizations. Looking for one outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

Crisis Text Line
Text: “HOME” to 741741

Suicide Lifeline
Text: “ANSWER” to 839863
Call: 1-800-273-8255

Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Child Abuse Hotline

The Trevor Project
Text “START” to 678678

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call your local emergency number. The numbers listed here are the commonly used numbers for the stated region, the numbers can vary greatly depending on where you live. If you don't know your country's equivalent to 911, this wiki page and The Lifeline Foundation have comprehensive listings.



The Americas





112 & 999



112, 999, 110



112, 911, 999, 111, & 000


These online and international resources may help you anywhere you are located. Looking for local support outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

DV Support Abroad
Call toll-free worldwide

I'm Alive Virtual Crisis Center
Live chat with trained volunteers

Crisis Connections
24/7 crisis support with interpretation in 155+ languages

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