Hover to zoom, or press and hold on mobile. Original is 8.5″ x 11″.

Growing up in Florida, I thought it was weird how many “Blue Springs” we had. It felt like an uninspired name for one of the state’s most iconic attractions. Using data from the US Board on Geographic Names, the map above depicts all of the physical, hole-in-the-ground spring locations (293) in the continental US named ‘Blue Spring’, ‘Blue Springs’, or ‘Something Blue Spring(s)’ — in addition to other springs including the word ‘blue’ in their name, such as “Blue River Springs”.

Hover to zoom, or press and hold on mobile. Original is 8.5″ x 11″.

Then I wanted to see every color and made the first of two maps below using colored water droplets. I excluded white, black, silver and grey from the final map because, frankly, they made it look ugly. A couple years later I came back after looking at some stained glass windows and thought it would be cool to calculate Thiessen (Voronoi) polygons around each spring, which shows which spring you would be nearest to if you pick out your location on the map. It’s mostly just fun to look at and has little meaning, but the concentration of blue springs to the east and red to the west is a bit interesting. You can see the two together in the second gif image. (May need to hover mouse or press and hold on mobile for animation.)

Aaron Koelker
Please contact me if you\'d like to use or feature my work, I\'d be happy to share it.