family · visualization

Mapping Our Life

In the past three years, we’ve made two major moves. First, in January 2015, from Richmond, VA to San Francisco, CA.  Second, Memorial Day 2016, from San Francisco, to Seattle, WA.  I’ve been thinking about the relative positions of each of these cities in the US and how they relate to each other.  I’ve noticed a big difference in daylight hours in Seattle compared to any of the other places I’ve lived.

Here’s a map of Wisconsin where Andy and I grew up.  Andy grew up in Gillett – the upper-most point on the map. I grew up in Milwaukee at the bottom right of the map.  We met at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and also got married there.  I like how these points are almost a right triangle.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 9.01.12 PM

Andy actually moved to Richmond, VA the year before we got married, and I moved down after our wedding.  Eleanor was born in downtown Richmond (right near the White House of the Confederacy!). We lived there for about 12 years and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for a job opportunity.  After 16 months in Redwood City, we moved up to Kirkland, WA, which is east of Seattle.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 9.02.56 PM

I think it’s really fascinating that our homes in Virginia and California are basically equidistant from the equator. I think we expected Richmond to be further south. Or San Francisco to be further north?  What is very clear is that we are now living the farthest north of any other place by quite a large margin.  It’s a 3° difference from Andy’s hometown and almost 4° from any of the places I’ve lived.  Seeing this, it’s not surprising that we have a noticeable difference in the number of daylight hours throughout summer and winter.  Currently, there is a five year old who doesn’t quite understand getting ready for bed while it’s still light out.

So there you have it, folks.  A quick tour of our resident cities and how they stack up on the map.  Yes, mom and dad, this is what scientists do on the weekend for fun.

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