Map #80: March 5, 2018

Difficulty Level: 6

Click here for a full-size version of this week’s map.

This map is a dot map of the contiguous United States. (Do you need a refresher on what a dot map is? Visit our “Basics” page for a quick primer.) There are a lot of dots on this map—so many that you’re much better off trying to look at the general trend rather than worrying about tracking down individual dots. There should also be a few dots in Alaska, but we had some technical difficulties getting it all on one map. Obviously, there are a lot of dots that overlap. There are also some dots that are effectively on top of one another. But you should still be able to make sense of it! As always, your job is to figure out what statistic is represented on this dot map.

Stumped? Check back Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for hints about where to focus your investigation. The answer will be posted on Monday, March 12, 2018. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: One thing that might help you make sense of this map is to draw some lines to connect the dots. Even with a large number of dots, it’s possible to identify some regions that stick out on this map. For example, you might draw a line that came pretty close to all the dots in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Or, you might be able to draw a line that came pretty close to all the dots in Washington and Oregon. Once you draw these lines, you will have to figure out what these particular areas have in common.

Wednesday’s hint: Most of the dots are in the northern part of this map. In fact, wide swaths of the South don’t have any dots at all. This pattern has to do in part with the climate. By and large, the dots tend to be in colder places.

Thursday’s hint: Perhaps the most notable thing about this dot map is that so many of the dots are located in places with high elevations. If you look at the lines that you traced out on Tuesday (that is, if you followed Tuesday’s hint), you’ll notice that they correspond roughly to the Appalachian Mountain, the Rocky Mountains, the Cascades, and the Sierra Nevada. There aren’t that many dots near big cities; instead, there are lots of dots up high in the mountains. Why might somebody want to go up a mountain? What would people do there?

Friday’s hint: A few of the dots on this map correspond to places we have talked about for previous maps. On Map #77, for example, we talked about Telluride, Colorado, which you can find on this week’s map as well. Way back on Map #29, we talked about Park City, Utah, which is also on this week’s map. And on Map #46, we talked about California’s Mono County, though we didn’t mention that the only incorporated town in that county is Mammoth Lakes. Why might a person want to go to Telluride, Park City, or Mammoth Lakes?

Answer: Click here to see an explanation of the answer to this week’s map question.

Next map: Click here to try out our newest map question.