Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/189

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183
THE SIZE OF ALASKA.

THE SIZE OF ALASKA.
By GEORGE B. HOLLISTER,
U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.

ALASKA, as a portion of our national domain, is at this time justly demanding our interested attention. Its marvelous resources and their probable rapid development are already bringing many to its shores, and will undoubtedly attract many more; hence, new facts regarding it, or old facts placed in a new light, must be of general interest. For many reasons, but chiefly because of its distance from the United States and the present difficulties of travel in its interior the size of the territory has been but little understood and probably much underestimated.

We know that its area has been stated by the geographers to be about 600,000 square miles, but unrelated figures, after all, give to

PSM V62 D189 Map of alaska compared to the lower us states.png
Fig. 1.

the average mind but vague ideas of the extent of territory. When it is said that Alaska has one fifth the area of the whole United States, one begins to have a more intelligent conception of its size, for in a general way the average American readily forms a fairly accurate mental picture of the broad size relations of his country. But so great is the extent of the United States and so difficult is it to judge accurately of the relations of geographical measurements that even this is