Expansion - & contraction - of (US) PO network in graphics

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norvic
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Expansion - & contraction - of (US) PO network in graphics

Post by norvic »

I haven't studied the data behind this but the map itself is interesting. It''s a 'moving' map on which dots are added and removed (I presume it's a gif)

It may be of interest to anybody studying the development of the postal service, in which case it is necessary to read the background papers, and probably download the data from here.
US Post Offices

US Post Offices is a spatial-historical dataset containing records for 166,140 post offices that operated in the United States between 1639 and 2000. The dataset provides a year-by-year snapshot of the national postal system over multiple centuries, making it one of the most fine-grained and expansive datasets currently available for studying the historical geography of the United States:
US Post Offices 1790
US Post Offices 1790

US Post Offices 1833
US Post Offices 1833

US Post Offices 1887
US Post Offices 1887

US Post Offices 1933
US Post Offices 1933

US Post Offices 1998
US Post Offices 1998

Credits and Citations

Richard W. Helbock (1938-2011) conducted the archival research to compile information about historical post offices.
Cameron Blevins processed Helbock’s data into a spatial-historical dataset and made it available online.
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Re: Expansion - & contraction - of (US) PO network in graphics

Post by RevRed+ »



Very interesting! Thank you for making us aware of the facility. "A picture tells a thousand words!"
Red.

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Re: Expansion - & contraction - of (US) PO network in graphics

Post by prtnz17 »

This is an interesting set of graphics, and I would more than likely put down the change in the number of post offices to changes in transportation, i.e. in the 1887 there were lots more post offices due to horse and buggy type transportation, then in 1933 motorised transport, but not fast, and in 1998 bigger and faster transport, and USPS rationalisation.

A nice set of maps showing how postal services have changed, for better of worse?

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Re: Expansion - & contraction - of (US) PO network in graphics

Post by norvic »

I haven’t interpreted it, but obviously the expansion was as the population explored to the west, and from the Pacific. The contraction would be partly the result of population decline in rural areas.

But transportation would also have an effect - rural closure when people could travel to town by car, and when rural delivery was by motor van.
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