Using a tool called MAPfrappe I’ve put together some images that compare the geographic scale of Long Island to other places in our region, and across the world.
As I’ve mentioned before, even though I live in Brooklyn I consider myself a Long Islander. I am from a town on the north shore called Mt. Sinai (near Port Jefferson), I am married to a woman who was raised in Montauk. So, to visit family I make make regular trips between Brooklyn and Montauk (The Beginning and The End). People are often taken aback when I tell them it’s a 2.5 to 3 hour trip (and that’s without seasonal Hamptons traffic).
“New York is closer to Philadelphia than it is to Montauk” I typically say… and typically they don’t believe me.
Our idea of scale in the world is often warped, and i thought this tool offered a fun way to use a familiar landmark and help us understand our world a little better.
Some images were chosen to help you understand why it’s not named “Short Island”, and others to help you realize other parts of the world are really freaking huge.
Geography Nerd Warning:
Yes it’s based on Google maps, which is a Mercator projection… and yes, a map is a flat interpretation of a round world, so every comparison is not “perfect.” However the guys at MAPfrappe created an algorithm to mostly correct for that, I say mostly because they still warn that “The calculations somewhat reverse Mercator distortions of horizontal distances, but not vertical distances”. Okay… so onto the fun.
Oh and if you want to play with the same outline of Long Island I created you can use this link:
Compared to Other US Islands:
The biggest island in the USA is the Big Island of Hawaii, this is of course by area. By population the Big Island is smaller than 2% of Long Island, which (Including Brooklyn and Queens) has a population of 7,686,912, meaning the entire State of Hawaii is less than 1/5 of our population size.
In terms of length the 118 mile span from Bay Ridge to Montauk us unsurpassed, even when compared to US Territory (and Future State?) Puerto Rico. Also More People of Puerto Rican Descent Live on Long Island than in Puerto Rico.
Area wise Long Island is the largest island in the lower 48. The next biggest island is Padre Island in Texas… which is really just a 113 mile long barrier beach that totals 209 square miles… as opposed to our 1,401 square miles. So, I guess everything isn’t bigger in Texas. Oh and there’s also a pics of Santa catalina Island, and Guam… because its a US Territory.
Compared to the Region
Like I said earlier, even in our region people don’t understand how big Long Island is. It is officially longer than the state of Connecticut; about the length of the New York State border to Boston, and longer than the distance from Ottawa to Montreal.
And for all the upstate haters, don’t complain about road funding being funneled to us; Our highways are just as long and used way more often.
Compared to Other Parts of the USA:
Long Island is occasionally deemed worthy of statehood by its residents (an idea amazingly lampooned by Samantha Bee)… we would be the smallest state by area coming in 100 square miles shy of Rhode Island, but we would be number 12 in Population.
Compared to the World
While we may be a big wig in our own nation As far as islands of the world goes we’re in a far different league. Many notable Islands share only a slightly larger footprint than us, such as Cypress and Sicily, but when it comes to the big islands of Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Britain and Iceland we’re clearly dwarfed. That being said, many nations are not as large as you would imagine… Israel looks about the size of New Jersey, and Liechtenstein… well it fits comfortably between our north and south shore.
Like a drive east on 27, we have reached The End. I hope you enjoyed that diversion… I even learned something un-Long Island related: Italy – Florida and Lake Michigan are about the same width. Let me know what you think/learned in the comments below!