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Articles in Northern California

Short GeoCurrents Break, But First a Seemingly Impossible Rainfall Map

By Martin W. Lewis | July 29, 2015 | 2 Comments

(Note to readers: GeoCurrents will soon be taking a short summer break. Regular posting will resume in mid-August. But before the pause begins, I have one more post, which discusses the possibility of a seemingly impossible map. )
The map posted to the left appears to be bogus, as it depicts patterns that would seemingly not be found in nature. It …

Mapping the Extraordinary Cost of Homes in California

By Martin W. Lewis | January 6, 2016 | 7 Comments

Housing prices in parts of California have reached a level so astronomical as to provoke widespread despair (coupled, however, with a certain degree of concealed glee among of the beneficiaries). The geography of housing costs can be easily grasped by juxtaposing a map of median home prices in USA Home Price MapCalifornia with a similar map showing all of the United States

Using GC Customizable Maps in the Classroom: Population Density in California

By Martin W. Lewis | January 8, 2016 | 2 Comments

The customizable maps that GeoCurrents is releasing to the public have many potential classroom uses, as this post will seek to demonstrate. Manipulating such maps is a good way to learn some of the fundamental elements of cartography, and can be useful as well for gaining basic geographical knowledge. It is one thing to merely look at a map, and …

Surprising Patterns in Geography of Crime in California

By Martin W. Lewis | January 9, 2016 | 2 Comments

Mapping crime rates by county in California shows few easily explicable patterns. At first glance, the map of violent crime (which is unfortunately somewhat dated) appears almost random.

The Regionalization of California, Part 1

By Martin W. Lewis | January 12, 2016 | 2 Comments

Like all US states—and indeed, virtually political units—California is divided into a number of informal and special-purpose regions. Regional designations in California are used ubiquitously in the media, in academic reports, and in everyday conversation. They are unavoidable and necessary. But as is generally the case with regionalization schemes, the numbers, names, and spatial outlines of California’s regions vary widely …

The Regionalization of California, Part 2

By Martin W. Lewis | January 13, 2016 |

Today’s post continues and concludes the discussion of the county-level regionalization of California. We begin here with the Central Valley, one of the most distinctive aspects of the state’s physical geography. “Valley” is perhaps not the best term to describe this feature. I will never forget the words of Jung-man Lee, now a professor of geography at Seoul National University, …

Lecture Slides on Cannabis Legalization

By Martin W. Lewis | June 7, 2016 |

Dear Readers,
The slides from my final lecture of the academic year are available at the link below. The lecture examined the impending legalization of cannabis in California, as well as its status elsewhere in the world.
Cannabis Legalization
 

The Geography of Health and Longevity in Montana (and the Rest of the U.S.)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 7, 2022 |

Although life expectancy tends to correlate with income, the correlation collapses in many of these areas. Hidalgo County, Texas is over 91 percent Hispanic and has a per capita income of only was $12,130, making it “one of the poorest counties in the United States,” but it ranks in the highest category on this map.

Cross-Class Connectedness in the Pacific Northwest and the Proposed State of Jefferson

By Martin W. Lewis | August 13, 2022 |

Although the fertile Willamette Valley in the northwest was settled heavily by New Englanders, most of the rest of western Oregon was substantially settled by people from the upper south. Many rural areas still have an Appalachian feel.

Voting Patterns and Population Density – and “State of Jefferson” Exception

By Martin W. Lewis | August 15, 2022 |

In a few parts of the country, this linkage between population density and voting behavior disappears. Consider, for example, far-northern-interior California, a white-dominated region with strong anti-California sentiments associated with the “State of Jefferson” movement.

The Importance of the County in U.S. Geography

By Martin W. Lewis | August 16, 2022 |

The role and significance of counties varies significantly across the country. Wikipedia categorizes U.S. counties into three types: minimal scope, moderate scope, and broad scope. In most of New England, county scope is minimal indeed

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