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You”re probably more than familiar with maps, and if you”re from the U.S., you”re likely familiar with maps of our large, often strange country. You”ve seen the boundaries of states and points of cities, various highways and side streets, and maybe some indications of elevation in shades of green and brown.

But what about all the other details? There are many ways to map an area of land, and artist Michael Pecirno is doing just that. The London-based artist and designer wants to go beyond the traditional map and instead show a different way of looking at the land and its people.

Urbanization

Urbanization

Deciduous forests

Deciduous forests

Evergreen forests

Evergreen forests

By focusing on a single subject like trees, water, or corn, these maps give us new insight on what”s going on in different areas of the country. We can see that deciduous forests make up the eastern half of the country, while evergreens rule the west, with open plains dominating the center. Since they”re separate, we can easily see the information and compare it to the other maps.

Grassland

Grassland

Shrubland

Shrubland

Cornfields

Cornfields

Cornfields take up almost five percent of the continental U.S. It”s easy to understand that number, but this map allows us to see that data and tell where it is in the country.

Water, excluding the Great Lakes

Water, excluding the Great Lakes

Pecirno”s project is ongoing, and will be expanded upon soon. Each new map will focus on a single subject, and together, the maps will give us a complete idea of the country, its land, and its people. Pecirno uses research from the USDA and various other sources to create his maps. Check out his website to keep up with the project and see what”s happening in your corner of the country.

For more ways to look at the world, take a peek at these maps:

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