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The United States, if you just look at its 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, possesses 3,119,884.69 square miles of land — a diverse mix of urban areas, crop land, wetlands, forests, deserts and pastures. With its population expected to grow an additional 100 million people in the next century, it's interesting to see how are we're currently utilizing all this space.

The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology crunched the numbers, using information from the U.S. Geological Survey, and produced a fascinating inventory of America's land usage, finding "3% open space (federal, state, and local), 24% shrubland, 17% grasslands and pastures, 17% agriculture, 5% wetlands, 27% forests, 2% urban areas, and 5% other land uses."

Via The McHarg Center

The center also found that you could divide America up into 10 eco-regions — the largest being Eastern Temperate Forests, made up of more than a quarter (approximately 25.6%) of total US land.

Via The McHarg Center

[The McHarg Center via Visual Capitalist]

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Long before we got this funny idea that maps had to be truthful, before Edney's ideal of cartography took hold, maps were full of conjectures, rumors, mistakes in surveying and even some outright frauds.

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