Map of the Day — 3-D Take on the USDA Zone Map

Map of the Day — 3 D Take on the USDA Zone Map

This 3-D representation of the United States uses seeds to show regional agriculture. Map by Craig Bromley.

Each day over the next two weeks we’ll be posting maps that have caught our eye. You know, from charting David Foster Wallace’s characters in Infinite Jest to tracking food trucks in San Francisco, these maps will have you exploring.

With so many maps these days relegated to the digital realm, we were thrilled to come across this 3-D “Seed Map.” What’s not to love about this visual representation of the agricultural growth patterns of the United States? The handcrafted map takes a twist on the USDA zone map and its 11 different plant hardiness divisions.

Used to determine what agriculture can withstand a variety of temperatures and soil drainage, this version was made entirely with hundreds of seeds allocated to each region. Originally made by Craig Bromley as an illustration for the April 2002 issue of Dwell Magazine, the map has lasted over a decade. According to Craig, “it still puts a smile on my face. It’s much better crafted than I remember it.”

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