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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
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Where is the geographical center of the United States? Not Centered
Dear PY, PX, Cochese, Sweet Baby James & friends:

As we learned while reading an archived newsletter from the Center for Land Use Interpretation, there are several answers to your question:
  • The geographical center of the lower 48 states lies outside of Lebanon, Kansas, in the middle of a hog farm.
  • The geographical center of all 50 states is located 17 miles west of Castle Rock, South Dakota.
  • The geodetic center of the U.S. is found approximately 42 miles south of Lebanon, Kansas. (Note: A geodetic survey makes corrections to account for the curvature of the Earth.)
The article is quick to point out, however, that none of the designated "centers" are truly precise or objectively determined:

Many variables exist when calculating the center of a land mass as large as the United States, and selective criteria and methods can be used, from the selection of different map projections, to defining the periphery of the shape with varying degrees of accuracy.
In fact, scientists at the Geodetic Survey have stopped calculating "centers" due to the imprecise nature of the task. Oscar S. Adams, Senior Mathematician for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, even wrote, "Since there is no definite way to locate such a point, it would be best to ignore it entirely...."​

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