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Avaunt Issue 5

A note on the cover

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I’m fascinated by infrastructure – networks and systems – and have spent many years studying the American landscape for my work. In my research, I’ve often used the United States Geological Survey ’s 7.5 minute quadrangle maps – so named because they span 7.5 minutes latitude by 7.5 minutes longitude.

Each map typically covers an area of 49 to 70 square miles and a long-standing goal of the USGS is to provide complete, large-scale topographic map coverage of the United States. To date, more than 54,000 maps cover in detail the entire area of the United States and they provide a crucial tool for government and industries to understand the terrain and how to exploit it.

Each quadrangle is unique and I see the forms and rhythms of the contour lines as the heartbeat of the landscape. The quadrangles are named after features in the landscape and, on returning to these maps for this cover, I revelled in discovering titles like Carcass Canyon in Utah, Gods Pocket Peak in Nevada and – on...

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