Map Monday: Constellation City Map of Minnesota & Neighboring States

Here is a fun and graphically minimalist approach to mapping cities in different states, from the Barely Maps website created by Peter Gorman. These “maps” show the largest cities in any state as stars in constellations, with the largest city as the large star, the lines demarcate a larger distance):

Here is Minnesota:

Constellation Map Mn

And our neighboring states of


Constellation Map


Constellation Map Ia

South Dakota (I like this one):

Constellation Map Sd

North Dakota:

Constellation Map Nd

Check out all 50 states, as well as Gorman’s other fun cartographic designs. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

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11 Responses to Map Monday: Constellation City Map of Minnesota & Neighboring States

  1. Lou Miranda December 3, 2018 at 11:43 am #

    That’s fun, and an easy mnemonic for each state.

    Any St. Paul-ophile will tell you, though, that highlighting only the biggest city might make sense for some states, but not for a “twin cities”.

    As a graphic artist, he probably just did the only-one-big-star thing for convenience. But don’t most constellation maps & drawings show the relative brightness of each star? That would be more accurate and a better mnemonic for each state. (And, like real constellations, you could see how things change over time.)

    Zooming in, it would be fun for metro areas, too, with a constellation showing the primary city/cities and their satellite suburbs.

    And then the connecting lines could be transit… but then we’re getting into the domain of subway maps, not constellations.

    • Ray Lewis December 3, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

      A constellation creating website with selectable star cities, and other mappable data overlays, along with big screen projection capability would be a good holiday gift!

    • Eric Anondson
      Eric Anondson December 3, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

      I would have rather the star represent metro areas, the the entire Twin Cities metro get the big star and the four smaller stars Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, and Mankato. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • Bill Lindeke
        Bill Lindeke December 4, 2018 at 9:39 am #

        Yeah. That would be more interesting for sure. And when does like Plymouth overtake Duluth? That would really make this map suck.

        • Eric Anondson
          Eric Anondson December 4, 2018 at 6:59 pm #

          Based on what I remember from Met Council forecasts, I think that in the next decade Brooklyn Park is predicted to over take Bloomington as the most populous suburb.

      • Lou Miranda December 9, 2018 at 1:32 pm #

        That’s a good idea. Although Moorhead is bigger than Mankato, according to Wikipedia.

        I was thinking more about the connector lines. They reflect transportation. Cities, depending on when they first expanded, grew up along coasts, riverbanks, rail lines, or interstates, so the lines between cities/stars reflect that.

        • Lou Miranda December 9, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

          Oh, and these maps would be cool for mapping the major commercial centers/nodes/corridors within a city/suburb.

          Gorman’s Barely Maps site is filled with cool ideas.

        • Bill Lindeke
          Bill Lindeke December 10, 2018 at 8:53 am #

          I did not think Moorehead was bigger than Mankato! (I looked it up tho and you are right of course.)

          • Eric Anondson
            Eric Anondson December 10, 2018 at 8:58 am #

            Does Moorhead and any suburb on the Minnesota side add up to bigger than Mankato, North Mankato, and all the rest of its region?

            Complicating things are that Duluth and Moorhead are part of a dual-state metro. Should we just count the Minnesota part?

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