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Map of U.S. states transposed onto similar European countries to give a sense of size

Jul 17, 2013 By Abraham

Kegler Press created a map on which each state in the U.S. is individuated from the nation as a whole and then laid out over a European country of approximately the same land mass. The effect, whether you’re more familiar with the U.S. or with Europe, is to give a better sense of the size of the other.

Europe’s borders are shown in relief with an embossed line behind the states for reference.

Here’s the whole print (which is available on Etsy)…

US States transposed onto Europe - 01

And here are two cropped images that make it easier to read…

US States transposed onto Europe - 02

US States transposed onto Europe - 03

(via This Isn’t Happiness)


  1. Tink says:

    Do you Americans actually recognise all your states by shape? Is this like a thing you’re taught at school, or do you just learn what your own one looks like? Just wanted to ask this, because I haven’t seen many places where the shape of large chunks of land seems to hold so much meaning. Stupid question, but there it is…

    1. SDM says:

      I know that for me, there are a few that I recognize (my own included). We are taught them in school but there are some that are so similar that if they’re not turned right or in the right place … I’ll admit I mix them up. Especially the tiny ones in the North East and the more square ones in the mid west. I hope that answers your question :)

    2. Sandy Grant says:

      Well, Wyoming and Colorado would be hard to differentiate unless you knew where they were placed on the map. Utah where I live, however, has a definite Utah Shape. As does Texas. Louisiana is a boot, Maine is a Mitten, California is… well it looks like it is falling into the ocean. :) Some states are more shape defining than others.

    3. Michelle says:

      I don’t understand why you’re confused by this Tink. Not only do I recognize most states by their shape, but I also recognize most American, European and Asian countries by their shape and after living in China for one short year, I was able to recognize many of the Chinese provinces by shape. Could you not recognize the countries around you? Maybe the provinces in your country are all shaped exactly alike or maybe your country is so small it doesn’t need to use provinces. I can’t figure out why else you wouldn’t at least have a general idea of shapes.

      Yes, we studied the states in school and learned where they all were on the map, but I don’t think we were required to recognize a state based purely on shape. That just came from seeing them on the map over and over throughout our lives. I can also recognize many of the counties (the units that most of our states are broken into) around where I live just from seeing weather maps on the news each evening. W/ the Chinese provinces, I didn’t study them at all, but just from having my teachers occasionally point out this province or that, or looking up maps myself to see where I was traveling to, I began to recognize the provinces and their shapes.

      Now I will say, the states that are shaped like a box w/o many distinguishing features to them are very difficult to recognize based on shape alone. But most are easily distinguishable.

  2. Liung says:

    Heard a song about Canada once…

    “We’re the second largest country,
    On this planet Earth!
    And if Russia keeps on shrinking,
    Soon we will be FIRST!
    (As long as we keep Quebec)”

    But considering here it takes 7 states, Mexico, and Greenland combined with us to get the same size as Russia… heh, it would have to shrink a LOT.

  3. Eilert says:

    Nice, but I would consider Greenland as part of Europe, being an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, not something to be used as landfill in Russia. But if we claim Greenland, you would need to replace it with something else in Russia, AND find somthing to map Greenland with, and you will end using states all the way down to Brasil. :-).

    1. Michelle says:

      Although Greenland is politically associated w/ Denmark, it is actually a part of the North American continent (or American continent if you prefer). It is the 3rd largest country in North America, after Canada and the US. Also, while the word “states” can be used to refer to independent countries, when you’re discussing the states of the United States, it’s confusing to refer to other countries on the American continent as “states”. That would seem like you’re putting Brazil and Kansas in the same category.

  4. Frederick says:

    Let’s be honest, if you look at 30, 31 and 32, their shapes are very much less recognisable than Turkey ! Very few of the American states are as obvious as Italy, France or Spain. Consider how the whole map looks squared off !

  5. teodor says:

    This is all about stupidity!
    Please, compare US. und Russia becouse that is only kinda senseable comparation…!

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