The Great Overflow: Flood Region of the Mississippi River (1874)
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This map is one of the ugliest and the smallest maps you'll find on the Big Map Blog. It's also one that I've spent a lot of time pondering.
The degree to which we've tamed the Mississippi River with our system of levees and locks is just amazing to me and rather unfathomable on its face. The sheer amount of stored human labor that these earthworks symbolize is awesome and I can not wrap my mind around it.
I'd love to see it in its natural state, too, no doubt. But I'd also like to not get my shit washed away at random intervals while staving off malaria. It's sort of a catch-22.