Fun with Maps 33&34

Another Fun with Maps is here! Try to contain your excitement long enough to read it.

I was inspired to include this next map as Map 33 having recently attended the Home and Gardens show at the Minneapolis Convention Center downtown. My mother-in-law and I spent fifteen or twenty minutes slowly driving around looking for a place to park and finally ended up on the seventh floor of a parking garage a few blocks away. Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about walking outside in the famous Minnesota cold because of the extensive Minneapolis Skyway System.

Skyway map-minneapolis

Map 33A: Minneapolis Skyway System

This massive series of skyways and tunnels allows the people of Minneapolis (and more importantly, out of town visitors not used to the cold) free passage between many public buildings and businesses around the downtown area. Once you gain access to the system you can go almost anywhere. There are people, probably not a ton of them, but there are people that live, work, and shop in buildings connected to the skyway, never having to leave if they wish. And if they wanted to take in a basketball or baseball game just outside the system, they have that option. The skyways are even expanding soon when more buildings are added between the existing system and the new Vikings stadium! How very exciting, it will all be connected. Locals will recognize more of these names than others but take a look at a list of some of the buildings and places connected to this system:

  • IDS Center
  • Foshay Tower
  • Target Center (Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, Concert/Exhibition Venue)
  • Target Field (Minnesota Twins, Concert/Exhibition Venue)
  • Minneapolis Convention Center
  • Nicollet Mall
  • University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis Campus)
  • Wells Fargo Center
  • Block E
  • First Ave (Concert Venue)
  • Campbell Mithun Tower
  • Ameriprise Financial Center
  • Hennepin County Government Center
  • U.S Bank Plaza
  • AT&T Tower
  • Minneapolis City Hall
  • Federal Court House
  • COMING SOON: Currently Un-sponsored Minnesota Sports Stadium (Minnesota Vikings, Concert/Exhibition Venue)

While I’m talking about skyways, St. Paul has a pretty big system too. Major cities in this climate have to get by somehow, I guess. I won’t go into depth about it but here’s another map for your perusal.

Skyway map-StPaul

Map 33B: St. Paul Skyway System

* * * * *

Map 34 is a topographic map of the United States. It’s pretty common fare for a map junkie, like myself. I show you this, however, because when paired with a map of the highest and lowest points in each state it’s kind of cool. See both below.

Elevation1

Map 34A: Topographic Map of the United States

Elevation2

Map 34B: Highest and Lowest Points in Each State

The red dots in each state are the highest points while the green squares represent the lowest points in each state (states with lowest points along coastlines are not represented by a green square). There’s a lot of interesting things to see in this map. Louisiana and California, for example, have low points inland despite having extensive coastline. A point in Death Valley is 282ft below sea level, the lowest point in the country. Mount McKinley in Alaska is the highest point at 20,236ft. The Rocky Mountains cover a lot of area but I find it interesting that the highest points in each of those states are so far apart. The highest points located in the Appalachians, however, are much closer together. There is a cluster of low points along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Neat!

The lowest point in my home state of Minnesota is along Lake Superior. I climbed to the highest point, the top of Eagle Mountain, with my family as a kid (all 2302ft of it). There’s a gravel path leading up the whole thing. I’m not saying I’m an American hero but it was quite the accomplishment.

Denali_Mt_McKinley

Eagle Mountain  Mount McKinley

Apparently there is a club of people called “Highpointers” that climb/visit the highest point in all fifty states. There’s a couple hundred members so far. I wonder how long it took for them to accomplish this feat. Thirteen states have a high peak above 10,000ft! That’s no joke! I have a feeling that club will remain fairly exclusive. For those of you interested in joining, let me know when you make it. Send me a postcard from the last one!

Bryan Signature 2

Sources:
http://www.skywaydirectory.com/minneapolis-skyway.php
http://www.minneapolis.org/sites/default/files/u7/pdfs/map-skyways2010.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_Skyway_System
http://www.skywaydirectory.com/stpaul-skyway.php
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USA_topo_en.jpg#mediaviewer/File:USA_topo_en.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_elevation
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