Power Map – Colorado is Not a perfect rectangle

Francis Lanzano Contributor
Power Map – Colorado is Not a perfect rectangle
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Welcome to Power Maps from Tag The Flag where we zoom out to provide unique insights about our country and the world. These graphical representations are meant to help us make sense of our surroundings and visualize themes, trends, and topics in our borders and beyond.


If you live in The Centennial State you’ve undoubtedly seen the shirts “Colorado is for Squares”. And even if you don’t, you probably think the state is more or less a perfect rectangle. In reality, however, the state has literally hundreds of sides, and when you dig into the detail, the reason why actually really isn’t that surprising. See, it all has to do with surveying errors. In the 19th century, before Google Maps existed, these workers had to use tools that gave them a rough estimates. Yes they were pretty good and when you zoom out a bird’s eye view of the state will render a rectangle, but they were also hiking over tough, rugged terrain trying to lock this landmass into the maps of history. So how many sides does Colorado have? Well according to Fascinating Maps, due to the surveying errors and their corrections, Colorado is technically a concave polygon which has hundreds of sides and edges.

File:Colorado in United States.svg

Map of Colorado's border deviations

Credit: Fascinating Maps. This map highlights the most noticeable of the state’s border deviations

Legend for the map of Colorado's border deviations

Credit: Fascinating Maps. Map Legend

Vertices along Colorado's border

Credit: Fascinating Maps. The above map shows all of the vertices on its border.

Map Source: Fascinating Maps