A Stream is a Brook is a Rio

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Streams go by a multitude of names in the United States and Derek Watkins has a map to illustrate that.  Watkins pulled the listing of stream names from the National Hydrography Dataset and mapped out the entire contiguous United States based on the local terminology used.  The actual waterways using the names creek and river were grayed out due to their widespread use.  Bright colors are used to symbologize the localized use of the terms stream, bayou, kill, branch, run, brook, rio, cañada, arroyo, swamp, slough, wash, and fork.

Watkin explains:

 I like this map because it illustrates the range of cultural and environmental factors that affect how we label and interact with the world. Lime green bayous follow historical French settlement patterns along the Gulf Coast and up Louisiana streams. The distribution of the Dutch-derived term kill (dark blue) in New York echoes the colonial settlement of “New Netherland” (as well as furnishing half of a specific toponym to the Catskill Mountains). Similarly, the spanish-derived terms rioarroyo, and cañada (orange hues) trace the early advances of conquistadors into present-day northern New Mexico, an area that still retains some unique culturaltraitsWashes in the southwest reflect the intermittent rainfall of the region, while streams named swamps (desaturated green) along the Atlantic seaboard highlight where the coastal plain meets the Appalachian Piedmont at the fallline.

US Stream Names
The different names for streams across the contiguous United States by Derek Watkins




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