Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Louisiana is dissolving into the sea.  The best we seem capable of doing about it is coming up with more and more striking creative visualizations. Here is Brett Anderson's turn at it.
While the kind of state map that might have been useful for navigation or perspective was elusive on the road to Morgan City, the image such maps project — the iconic “boot” shape everyone recognizes as Louisiana — was impossible to escape. The map’s outline was ubiquitous on my drive: on bumper stickers (with the boot standing in for the “L” in “Love”), engulfing T-shirt fronts (my favorite emblazoned with “I drove the Chevy to the levee but the levee was gone”), and glowing on Louisiana-shaped neon beer signs in barroom windows.

But the boot is at best an inaccurate approximation of Louisiana’s true shape and, at worst, an irresponsible lie. It has to be.


Owen Courrèges said...

Brett Anderson's map is stupid. The Atchafalaya Basin is wetland, but that's still part of our state borders and is by every cartographic standard. There are maps showing the loss of coastline that do show a dramatic loss, but they do so by showing actual land loss, not by imposing some ridiculous, artificial standard about how all land has to be "inhabitable" and "walkable." Counterproductive twaddle.

whynotnow said...

The maps in Mr. Anderson's article would seem to indicate that my homeplace in Grand Chenier is neither walkable nor habitable. That's just not so. Also, there are no swamps in Cameron Parish, only marshland. He may have gotten confused by the sight of our beautiful live oak trees.