Geographic Center Of The United States

1066 WordsDec 8, 20165 Pages
GEOGRAPHIC CENTER OF THE UNITED STATES MATH 166 Ian Gilley, Kelvin Brandl, Kayla Muehlhauser, Nathan Koehler, Justin Ebnet, Kylie Bentz Our method for determining the center of mass of each state is split up into five steps. The first two, file conversion and sorting, gave a huge amount of raw data, and then condensed it into a workable form. The third step converted latitude and longitude coordinates into kilometers. The fourth step took the trapezoids formed by the previous steps and calculated their moments with respect to the x and y axis’s. Finally, the conversions were reversed to give the center of mass. All of the states were downloaded as shapefiles from the National Boundary Dataset maintained by the USGS. Then then the .shp files were converted to .kmz with ArcMap10.4, and then converted to .kml with Google Earth. Then the approximately 30,000 latitude and longitude coordinates for each state were saved as a .txt file and imported into Excel. The shapefiles gave a coordinate approximately every 400 meters along straight edges of states, and approximately every 200 meters along rivers and other curved features, and went out to the eighth decimal place. The territorial seas of costal states which extend three nautical miles out from the low water mark, and the state boundaries that extend into the Great Lakes and other bodies of water were included in the laminar sheet. Small islands such as the Florida Keys and those off the coast of California were assumed to
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