The combination of the outline of the U.S.A. with pictorial elements began in the later nineteenth century with the maps created for board games and puzzles; these maps combined geographic features with pictures of a country’s characteristic cultural landmarks, flora, and fauna. A century later, with the advent of digital design software, such as Adobe’s Illustrator and Photoshop programs, designers can import and manipulate a virtually unlimited array of visual resources in the service of advertising promotions and ideological claims. While these images range from the sparse to the complex, they share the common goal of conveying a message, not geographic content.

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