Map project puts Alaska, Hawaii in their place

40- by 50-foot map is constructed entirely with nails hammered directly into wooden dock downtown

Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Juneau Map of the United States project is an interactive map of the 50 United States in their correct geographic locations. Many maps of the 50 states show Alaska and Hawaii off the coast of California or in the Gulf of Mexico. Often visitors to Juneau do not have a clear idea of exactly where Juneau is, in relation to the Lower 48 states, and how far Juneau is from their hometown.

The 40-foot by 50-foot map is being constructed entirely with nails hammered directly into the wooden dock by school classes, volunteer organizations, local citizens and visitors. They will hammer in more than 50,000 nails to mark the latitude and longitude lines, the outlines of all the states, major rivers and other map features.

The map will show Juneau at the center of a series of concentric circles that represent 500-mile intervals, so that people can easily calculate the distance from Juneau to anywhere.

Everyone is invited to add a nail to the map for their hometown.

Michael Orelove created this project to teach geography and science to the general public in interesting, practical and fun ways.

Local groups or individuals wanting to get involved in the project should contact Orelove at 586-3034.

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