Outline Mania: How Many States Can You Identify in this Quiz?


Geography is becoming a lost art in many classrooms today. You may be able to list the names of many states or tell which are in the north and those in the south. You could probably even find them on a brightly colored map. But if you take away the frame of reference and present just one state at a time, do you think you can identify each state of America? Without anything else to compare the size or general geographical region, determining the state based only on its outline is a definite challenge. Is that Colorado or Wyoming? New Jersey or New York? Does California border the Atlantic Ocean or the pacific? Take this quiz to figure out if you're an explorer blindly traipsing through the wild unknown or a master cartographer, naming each state with the ease of an expert.

Did you know?

Changing state boundaries

There are many different ways that states have acquired their borders throughout history. For many states, natural reference points, such as mountain ranges or rivers, delineate boundaries. However, these natural locations can shift over time, putting the size and location of state borders into question. Meanwhile, during the westward expansion of the United States, political needs often determined or changed the shape of the states. The need to comply with the Mason-Dixon line, making another state happy when they make a concession, or simply currying favor have all taken their toll on just how large or small a state is. These issues are rarely solved overnight, taking anywhere from a few years to over a hundred to decide. While many of these disputes were solved over a century ago, some issues continue to be hotly debated in modern times. In some cases, state lines are not formally set even today.

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