Where I’ve been: US counties

A few days ago I had a post with maps showing states and countries I have been in. Here’s another map: counties I’ve been in.


I’ve lived in Billings, MT; Salt Lake City, UT; Bozeman, MT; Pullman, WA; St. Louis, MO; Bucharest, Romania; and now Lakewood, CO. The greater amount of red in the Western US is due to two factors. I have traveled more extensively in the West, whether on family vacations as a child, or on geological field trips as a college student and adult. Second, the counties tend to be larger, leading to a blockier appearance to the region, at least in places like Southern California, Nevada, and Utah. Taking one trip through San Bernadino County in Southern California made a rather disproportionate area red on this map.

I tend to like variety in my routes, and this explains the multiple routes leading from St. Louis to Florida to visit relatives, or the high density of visited counties in Missouri and Iowa. While we were working on developing our financial support base for our work with ReachGlobal/Bucharest Christian Academy in Romania, we took dozens of trips from St. Louis to Central Iowa, where we ended up having five supporting churches. I tried to see some new places on each trip.

I’ve been in 891 out of 3109 counties (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Only 2218 to go!

This map was created with ArcGIS software from ESRI.

Grace and Peace

P.S. My first thought was that there were no airport-only counties on this map, but that is not true. I’ve been at both JFK and LaGuardia airports in Queens County, New York. On this type of map, Queens is an insignificant speck, dwarfed by the more significant Carter County, Montana (population: 1360, county seat: Ekalaka). I also have a port-only county: Norfolk, Virginia. I didn’t even get off the boat, but I’ve been there.

10 thoughts on “Where I’ve been: US counties

  1. geochristian


    Thanks for your comment.

    I guess it is the cartographic side of my mind. I can remember pretty much every place I’ve been since I was about ten. For example, in 1973, when I was 12, my family took a vacation where we went from Billings to Salt Lake City to Las Vegas to Los Angeles to San Diego and Tijuana to San Fransisco to Portland to Spokane, and then back to Billings. I can remember pretty much the entire route. My Dad saw someone he knew when we stopped for lunch in Cedar City, Utah. I-15 wasn’t completed between St. George and somewhere in Arizona, so we took a two lane road that takes a more northerly route. I got carsick on highway 1 somewhere near Big Sur, etc…

    For the past 15 years I’ve highlighted my travels in a now well-worn Rand McNally road atlas, and that helped the process of identifying which counties I’ve been in for the map I showed here. I don’t remember the details of every trip, but I think the map is very close to being accurate.


  2. very cool … seems like a GIS-savvy person like yourself could overlay a geologic map and you could find out the proportion of Mesozoic rocks you’ve traveled over … or something to that effect


  3. Tim Helble

    Holy Cow Kevin – You have to visit Coconino County and see the eastern Grand Canyon… or did you just forget to have that one colored in?


  4. Matt Strid

    That’s cool. You should do a site like the coutries/states site. I’d like to see if I can figure out where i’ve been…and see how insignificant it is…


  5. Tim Helble

    Kevin – sorry I didn’t think of this sooner. My agency, the National Weather Service, seems to always be looking for new hydrologists: From a recent email:

    Please share this exciting opportunity available in Pocatello, Idaho.

    The Service Hydrologist, GS-1315-09/11/12 vacancy announcement on USAJOBS will be open from Friday, January 16, 2009 until Friday, February 06, 2009. Applicants may access the announcement through the USAJOBS web site at http://www.usajobs.opm.gov.


  6. Pingback: Third anniversary of The GeoChristian « The GeoChristian

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