Wired highlights an anonymous artist's Instagram account:
Artists like to say they think outside the box. The anonymous photographer behind The Jefferson Grid is all about the box.Yes, the rectangular survey system has definitely left its mark on America.
Well, the square, actually. His oddly addicting Instagram account is a steady stream of Google Earth screengrabs, each revealing an area covering exactly one square mile. It provides a riveting glimpse of landscapes that may look ordinary, even boring, from the ground while providing an easily grasped sense of scale.
The title is inspired by the top-down planning system established by the Land Ordinance Survey of 1785, which divvied up the vast prairies of the midwest into a neatly ordered checkerboard. Each parcel of land, suddenly defined by unnatural borders, began taking on a life all its own. “It’s fascinating that a survey system invented more than 200 years ago still affects the way things are organized and the way people live,” the photographer says.