Map Geek 09: USA (United Springfields of America)
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The Map Geek series of geocaches is for all my fellow map nerds in the caching community. All will (hopefully) have fun finding the cache. Those of you who find the map oddities and fun facts appealing, please feel free to discuss that in your cache log, adding comments, corrections and opinions as you wish.
This small container is right off of the 144th Street Trail as it transitions toward Springfield. The best way in on 2 wheels or 2 feet might be to park at the parking waypoint provided and use the trail; the distance from parking to cache is .22 mi. If you need to park closer, there is the soccer field parking, but be aware that the soccer field parking is closed and locked during the off-season. The adventurous could approach by bike or on foot from the north as well.
While 35 states have at least 1 Springfield within their borders, it is not the city name found in the most states. According to author Dan Tilque in 2001, these are the ten town names found in the most states and how that compares with Springfield:
The states that have Springfields:
The states that have no Springfields (includes AK & HI, not pictured):
If you'd like to play with interactive versions of the maps and charts above (including discovering which states have multiple Springfields), you can find those at the "Related Web Page" link above.
NOTE: Disparities in the number of US Springfields (and which states have them) abound, as ghost towns once called Springfield exist, as well as subdivisions, uninhabited or unincorporated areas, etc. Some sources, with stricter criteria, list as few as 17 states with Springfields. Obviously my standards aren't quite so high.
Fictional Springfields have been part of American culture for quite a while. For an incredible 72 years on the radio and TV, the serial drama The Guiding Light detailed the stories of Springfield residents. The comic book exploits of G.I. Joe sometimes feature Springfield, as did the radio and TV series Father Knows Best.
Of course, Springfield is also home to The Simpsons. A long-running gag in the animated series has been to be coy and ambiguous about which US state contains their Springfield. The Simpsons Movie from 2007 clarified Springfield's location by pointing out the bordering states: Nevada, Maine, Kentucky and Ohio. A contest was held to decide which US Springfield would host the film's premiere, and Springfield, Vermont won the honor. (BTW, The CO uses a Simpsonized version of himself as his gc.com avatar; it has a mustache and some hair on its head, 2 features the human version has lacked for some time.)
A timeline of 4 fictional Springfields:
Sources: Word Ways, Wikipedia, ask.com, IMDB, US Census. Tools: GIMP, Preceden, infogr.am, GSAK, Google Fusion Tables. Images, charts and maps were designed for this cache page and did not come from elsewhere on the web.
For the truly map-obsessed, there are additional interactive maps (and info on how they were created) at the WBs geocaching blog. Use the "Related Web Page" link above.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum