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Data & Maps

Maps, data, and visualizations

The goal of the journey is to write a book about the experience, but planning for a three-month trip around America takes a lot of research.

​This page goes hand in hand with the blog as a recording of the preparations for the journey and all of the supporting documentation discussed in a book but can't fit into 75,000 words.

This is a place for pictures and videos and maps and memories. A digital mass of information which the book will tie together in a masterpiece of observation on life in America.

US Counties

Formed Since 1960

Shown here in the interactive map are US Counties that have formed, gained or lost area, or were somehow modified since 1960. Click on each county to read a description of what occurred and its ordinance.

See the full map on Carto's website.


US Population 1960 & 2010

How do changing US demographics affect other aspects of our collective American lives? Steinbeck was intrigued by the increase in mobile homes and trailer communities, and the relative transience of the population. I wager he never expected for the actual racial makeup of the country to change so dramatically!


When Steinbeck set out on his journey in 1960, America was 88.6% White, 10.5% Black, and 0.9% "Other".  On my trip in 2016, America is 62% White, 17% Hispanic, 12% Black, and 5% Asian.


In 1960, a much larger percentage of the population was young: a full 45% were under the age of 24, while in 2010, only 34% were in this age bracket.

Read the blog entry for more details about the racial and age makeup of America.

This visualization was created with Tableau Public tools and depicts the overall demographic makeup by age of the United States according to the US Census Bureau.

View the interactive viz on Tableau's site.

Congressional Seats
US Population Changes

When people move, power in the House of Representatives moves as well. The below map shows how seats have shifted from the Northeast and Midwest to warmer climes.

More on the blog posting about this map.

View the full interactive map on Carto.


Steinbeck's Route 


September - October 1960

After Labor Day in September 1960, John Steinbeck set out in his truck camper (named "Rocinante") for three months on the road in America. He documented the journey in his 1962 bestseller "Travels With Charley". I scoured the book to find all of the locations he mentions and mapped it in an interactive map.  Click on each location to see where Steinbeck mentioned.

For more details (including the technical specifications), I wrote a post discussing how I made this map in the Travels With Chesky blog.

See the full map on Carto's website.

Walmart, Walmart Everywhere...

Since 1962

Several postings on the blog deal with Walmart.

There is a map for number of Walmarts by state.

A map for number of persons per Walmart in the US (so one can know how many people one has to potentially share a Walmart with).

And a basic map of where all the Walmarts are in America (based on's finder tool).

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