• As of April 2013, the federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. This means that the least amount of money someone can make in the U.S. is $7.25 an hour.
    In many states, the state minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage. The state of Washington has the highest minimum wage in the nation, $9.19 per hour. 
    What are some of the things mapmakers had to think about when they made this map? Use the “Questions” to find out.
    1. Color is an important consideration for mapmakers. Why do students think the cartographers who made the “Minimum Wage in the U.S.” map chose the colors they did?

      The cartographers probably chose different shades of green because data on the map has to do with money. In the United States, the color green is associated with money—in fact, dollars are nicknamed “greenbacks.”

    2. Scale is another important consideration for mapmakers. Small-scale maps often depict large areas (such as the Earth) while large-scale maps often depict smaller regions (such as cities) in greater detail. Why do students think the cartographers who created the “Minimum Wage in the U.S.” map chose the scale they did?

      Answers will vary!
      A (small-scale) map of the world would not display enough detail to help people understand the map’s information on minimum wage in the U.S. Cartographers could add data on the minimum wage in other nations to make a small-scale map more meaningful.
      A (large-scale) map of cities or counties in the U.S. would be far too detailed to help people understand state laws on the minimum wage. Cartographers could add data on the minimum wage in cities or counties to make a large-scale map more meaningful.
    3. The “Minimum Wage in the United States” map is a political map. Political maps show the boundaries of states, countries, or other government divisions. Why do students think the cartographers who made the map chose to visualize their data on a political map instead of a topographic map or road map?

      Topographic maps display information on the topography, or surface features of a region. Road maps display information on roads, streets, and highways of a region. Neither one of these maps would be helpful in displaying the minimum wages of different U.S. states. A political map, which shows state borders, is a more logical way to display, or visualize, this information.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    employer Noun

    person or organization that hires people for wages and salaries.

    federal Adjective

    having to do with a nation's government (as opposed to local or regional government).

    minimum wage Noun

    least amount of money an employer is allowed to pay by law.

    tip Noun

    money or other compensation, in addition to general wages, offered directly to a person for performing a service. Also called a gratuity.

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