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Geographic Centers

NETSTATE provides coordinates and location descriptions that are intended to pinpoint the "geographic center" of each of the States of the United States. This information is/was obtained from the United States Geologic Survey (USGS). We have received numerous questions regarding this information including complaints that the coordinates don't align with the location descriptions. In response to the questions we have received, we contacted the USGS. Essentially, we have tried to get information about the methodology used to calculate the coordinates and the location descriptions.

We have been unsuccessful. The USGS has taken the position that the source for this information is unknown and that there is no official definition for a geographic center and, therefore, no official methodology for determining a geographic center.

The USGS has removed virtually all of coordinate information that they provided online, but they still maintain a list of location descriptions.

The following was quoted from the USGS web site on November 6, 2007:

NOTE: "Positions" noted in the last sentence above have been removed (except for Alaska and Hawaii) from the information provided in the USGS Geographic Centers table.

Sources

The United States Geological Survey, "Elevations and Distances in the United States: Geographic Centers", 29 April 2005, <http://erg.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/elvadist/elvadist.html#Geographic%20Centers> (6 November 2007)

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