Maps: Organizing the Heartland
A couple of weeks, I wrote a post based solely around some old maps I had made and found as I started cleaning out files on my work computer. (You can read that by Clicking Here) It would up being way more popular than I thought, and after some positive feedback, I decided to do another one, this time covering soccer in the states of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.
Personally, I think any league worth it's salt should have maps as part of it's planning process. Growth is good, but maps can help keep everything organized and keep that growth aligned with a particular vision. For that sake of this project, you can imagine these maps being used three different ways.
Below are maps for the state of Missouri. I've attempted to map out every state into the same amount of regions. 8 flowing up to 4, flowing up to 2.
Missouri isn't too hard to do, having major cities in Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City and St Louis. Jefferson City is sort of big, but is stuck in Columbia's orbit. Since all of these cities save Springfield are laid out east to west on I-70, the trickiest part was laying out the southeast portion of the state, and the north. Not much going on there, but I think this could work for everyone.
Next up is Kansas, which is a little trickier. For those who don't know, most of the major cities in Kansas are in the eastern half of the state. Kansas City, Kansas, Johnson County, Topeka, Lawrence, and Manhattan. Wichita, even though it's south, is still in the eastern half of the state. The only significant town in western Kansas is Garden City, so I really tried to keep the western regions small for the sake of travel.
Iowa is really similar to Kansas. Lots of the big cities, like Davenport, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo are in the east, with Council Bluffs and Sioux City in the west and Des Moines smack in the middle. However since it's a smaller state, dividing things up actually wasn't too hard. Which I appreciate, because Nebraska won't be this forgiving.
Now this was the hard one. Lincoln and Omaha are the two biggest cities in Nebraska, both on the eastern side of the state. Grand Island ad Kearney are in the center, and North Platte and Sydney (home of Cabellas World HQ) are in the west. But some of the counties are huge and very weirdly shaped. This is the one I'm least happy with, yet it gives the state something to guide it.
There you have it! The Heartland has been organized from 8 regions all the way to the top!
What do you think? Anything you would do differently to make things more travel friendly? Let me know in the comments what you think, and also if you'd like to see more of these kind of articles in the future!