October 13, 2005
In order to do some neat mapping tricks at work, I've had to start assembling my own map files from the data we have in SQL Server. DC made a good testbed, being small, but it didn't have all the different types of data possible. So we needed another test.
Enter Rhode Island. It's barely larger than DC, and has everything we need to test. I ran the file generator and got my four maps. The first few looked all right, though sparse (which they're supposed to be.) The fourth caused some concern.
Everything fell into place nicely, except for a patch of stuff quite a ways south of the rest of the state. Since neither my boss or I know about Rhode Island, we weren't sure if that was right. I called up a mapping program and zipped over to the state.
And there it was, Block Island, which is part of Rhode Island. I was happy; my generator was doing what it was supposed to. Then I realized that Block Island probably sits at one end of Block Island Sound.
Which answers a question I've had for a while now about a mediocre Billy Joel song. In "Downeaster Alexa" one of the first things he mentions is "crusing through Block Island Sound." And my question, of course, was "WTF is Block Island Sound?"
Now I know. And according to TV, knowing is half the battle.