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New State Boundaries

New State Boundaries

This map illustrates a redefinition of U S state boundaries that provides that any point within the 48 contigious states will be nearer that state's capital than any other state capital city using the assumption that present capital cities will remain as capital cities at their present locations.

All "new" boundaries are great circle paths. The yellow colored boundaries are between states where a boundary exists today. The turquoise colored boundaries denote a "new" boundary between states that do not presently have a common border. The dimmer purple borders are the existing state borders as displayed using a standard option of Google Earth.

Present day state capitals were located using their latitude/longitude as near as practical to the actual seat of state government, in some cases where state's legislative sessions are conducted. The hypothetical "new" boundaries were calculated using geodetic formulae coded within a Python language computer program. It created Google Earth compatible line definitions as KML data definitions. The visual image rendition shown here was created using standard Google Earth facilities with this KML data overlayed upon it. This processing was done using a modest home PC with Windows Vista and Python version 3.3.3 freeware.

There are some surprising new boundaries. For instance, Nebraska would have short new borders with both Minnesota and Oklahoma. Kansas would no longer have a border with presently adjacent Colorado. South Dakota would not have a border with Montana. The new larger Utah would have a new 200 long mile border with a still large Montana by absorbing locations in present Idaho and Wyoming. Some locations presently in Illinois would be be in newly adjacent Tennessee. Tennessee would also have a border in common with Indiana. Kentucky would share a border with Georgia. The New England states borders would remain a jumble with a few new short ones.

But no location is left in a state "panhandle." There aren't any because all states have convex shapes except for minor deviations in outer borders that abut regions outside the U. S. The objective of the map that no location is closer to any state capital closer than its own is fulfilled. At present, Dalhart in northwest Texas is nearer to six other state's capitals than it is to its own in Austin (those nearer are Santa Fe, Denver, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Topeka and Oklahoma City). In this new scheme Dalhart would be within New Mexico whose capital is nearby Santa Fe.

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