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Where It's At: Walking the perimeter of this city = Walking from Philadelphia to Denver

If you were to walk the perimeter of this U.S. city's city limits, you would cover 1,562 miles (2,513 km), which is roughly the same distance as walking from Philadelphia to Denver.*

Here's what that distance looks like:

Philadelphia to Denver

And the answer is:

Houston city limits

Well, of course, Houston.  Isn't everything big in Texas?  The city covers an area of 672 square miles (1,739 sq km), and all those little (big) tendrils shown by the dark blue lines above make its perimeter add up to this whopping 1,562 miles!  Want to zoom in and see the details?  Explore the city limits of Houston here.

So, Houston takes the prize for the longest perimeter of any city in the United States.  If you're curious, #2 is Buckeye, AZ at 646 miles (1,039 km), and #3 is Charleston, SC at 619 miles (997 km).

Bonus trivia:  If Houston has the longest perimeter, does it also have the largest area?  

No.   That distinction goes to Jacksonville, FL at 875 square miles (2,265 sq km).  (If you include boroughs in this calculation, the winner is Sitka, AK at 2,870 sq mi of land area (7,433 sq km))


Want to explore your city?  Check out the What City Am I In? tool on this website.

* this is the "as the crow flies" distance from Philadelphia to Denver.  If you were to actually walk from Philadelphia towards Denver along legal routes, according to Google Maps, you'd make it to about the eastern border of Colorado.




  

Where It's At: Drop nearly 15,000 feet in just over 85 miles in the Contiguous U.S.

Where It's At is an occasional feature that uses maps to show interesting stuff about our world.  At least interesting to map geeks like me :)

For this inaugural post:  Where can you can drop nearly 15,000 feet of elevation in just over 85 miles in the contiguous United States?

A clue:  these two points also happen to be the highest elevation point and the lowest elevation point in the contiguous U.S.


Mt Whitney to Badwater Basin elevation profile map

And here's the elevation profile along that line:

Mt Whitney to Badwater Basin elevation profile

Note that it's not a nice easy descent along that path, as there are mountain ranges in between.  In fact, let's go the other direction:  if you wanted to (theoretically) walk along that 85 mile path from Badwater Basin to the top of Mt. Whitney, your elevation gain would be about 35,600 feet (that's about 23% higher than Mt. Everest's 29,029 foot elevation!)

Has anybody ever done this?


How-to:  The above maps and facts were created using the Elevation on Google Maps tool, which has worldwide coverage.  On that tool, you can draw an elevation profile by clicking the "Elevation Profile..." button on the left side of the map (double-click to finish drawing your path).  

Power tip:  To export the elevation data from the profile, first expand the chart into its own tab by using the button in the upper right of the chart, then click the "Download CSV" button.  I opened the .csv file into Excel to calculate the elevation gain, which is the sum of elevation increases along your path (elevation gain exclude segments of elevation declines).