Economics/Class Relations

The way our money moves: Cascadia defined by regional economy

In a recent article published on Facts CoExist theoretical physicist Dirk Brockmann argues that state boundaries are often arbitrary and out of date, no longer representative of how we communicate or function as a modern society. By tracking dollar bills he has created a series of maps redrawing state borders by how our money moves, which more accurately portrays distinctive areas based on regional economy.

When mapped in this fashion, Cascadia once again emerges, clearly delineated along a bioregional line.

Analyzing data from millions of single dollars, using information provided by the project, Brockmann determined that state boundaries no longer correlate with how we move or communicate with each other. is a grassroots money tracking group in which users enter zip codes and serial numbers of dollar bills, stamping each one so that when other users find it, it can be relogged. Each time this happens, users receive a hit, the top ‘Georger’ at the moment being an ammunition dealer who has logged more than two million bills, with roughly 500,000 hits.

Brockmann took the data for how the dollar bills traveled, and used network theory to draw lines where dollar bills are less likely to cross. The resulting map shows how “effective communities” don’t necessarily follow state lines.


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