Autumn River

Watershed States on Google Earth

I’m working on a series of products related to my post “The United (Watershed) States of America”. Admittedly, I’m no cartographic wizard. But thankfully I know people who are. So this first piece embeds the watershed states in Google Earth. Stay tuned as we work on creating a better static map, and turn out other products that help visualize the nation’s watersheds.

This works best in any browser OTHER than Explorer. Have fun!


John Lavey is a Program Director out of Community Builders' Bozeman, Montana office. John works with community partners throughout the northern rockies to advance community development, economic development and conservation development goals.

Cameron Ellis is the GIS and Creative Products Manager at Community Builders. He uses maps to describe and analyze spatial patterns in development.

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12 Responses to Watershed States on Google Earth

  1. Pingback: The United (Watershed) States of AmericaCommunity Builders

  2. Colin says:

    Any way to see all the names of the major watercourses around which the new boundaries are drawn at a glance?

    • John Lavey says:

      Hi Colin – I am working on an updated version of the map with someone who knows quite a bit more about GIS than I. An improvement, I hope. I’ll be posting an updated link as soon as its ready. -John

  3. Jamie Ed says:

    This map and data have the potential to be a really great application. I would love to see a map maker or developer get their hands on this data.

  4. Mark T. Lundholm says:

    What great fun! I was a physical geography major way back in college and I’ve been a fan of John Wesley Powell for some time (I like Wallace Stegner’s book on Powell). Have you looked at a similar set of maps based on Bailey’s Ecosystem Geography? I like your analysis and theories on what might have been/might be. Water is critical. Please keep me informed. Thanks.

    • John Lavey says:

      Thanks Mark. I haven’t looked at Bailey’s Ecosystem Geography, although its intriguing…I have to wonder to what degree there may be overlap between his ideas and watershed boundaries. We have a few ideas in the works for new, associated products, so a great way to keep informed is to join our mailing list. We’re also on twitter (@CommunityBldrs) and I believe there is a way you can sign up to be notified of future comments. Cheers, John.

  5. Walter Sobchak says:

    It is a good start, and obviously a lot of work. Thank you.

    I think some detail needs to be filled in.

    For instance Los Angeles drains the Owens Vally and the Mono Basin, which are east of the Sierra Nevada Ridge line. It should be separated from the Central valley at the Tehachapis ridge line for that reason.

  6. Ed Davis says:

    As a geographer and sometime cartographer, I believe you and your friends have done a fine job in this early version. Thank you for reviving interest in Powell’s great vision.

  7. John Lavey says:

    I have been asked several times to make this map available as a poster for purchase. Done deal. $20 + s/h. I’ll email those I know have expressed an interest. Anyone else interested please email me:

  8. david cody says:

    Hey I was excited to see a google earth layer, but I cant find anywhere on this page a link to get the .kmz or any info on how to see this in Google Earth. Any help?

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