Thursday, September 24, 2009

McSparseness: Find the Dark Spots on the Map. Go There.

This brilliant map, created by photographer Steve Von Worley, visually represents the density of McDonald's restaurants—all 13,000-plus of them—in the Lower 48. The bright lights of the Golden Arches sprawl across the map in constellations of human yuckiness. So where can we find American wilderness—the black holes of happiness on this map? Best to quote Von Worley himself, who writes on his blog:

"As expected, McDonald’s cluster at the population centers and hug the highway grid. East of the Mississippi, there’s wall-to-wall coverage, except for a handful of meager gaps centered on the Adirondacks, inland Maine, the Everglades, and outlying West Virginia. For maximum McSparseness, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map: the barren deserts of central Nevada, the arid hills of southeastern Oregon, the rugged wilderness of Idaho’s Salmon River Mountains, and the conspicuous well of blackness on the high plains of northwestern South Dakota."

Von Worley calculated that the farthest you can get from a McDonald's in the continental U.S. is in north-central South Dakota: 145 miles by car or 107 miles as the McNugget-hungry crow flies. I'll bet there's a Subway that's closer.

[Tip of the hat to Clyde Soles for pointing out this gem.]

1 comment:

Dave said...

The dark spot in West Virginia is centered on the location of the National Radio Telescope and Observatory in Green Bank, WV. This is a cell phone free area as well. Attempts are made to eliminate all sources of potential interference.