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Cool Map Thing

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The Strange Maps blog has "the first satellite map of California," made in 1851. Well, sort of. It's actually a recent image, created by a Central Valley geographer, that shows what the state might've looked like back then--most notably, the Central Valley was home to Tulare Lake, which would've been about 580 square miles at the time (a boat could have sailed from Bakersfield to Stockton on the waterways of the era). By the early twentieth century, the lake had been depleted by irrigation. [Strange Maps]