Photographic book

Indiana map and geography


United States

Indiana, state in the north central United States, in the Midwest. Indiana is one of the leading industrial and agricultural states in the Union. Manufacturing is Indiana’s single most important economic activity, but agriculture remains a principal activity throughout much of the state. The state motto, the Crossroads of America, reflects the importance of Indiana in the commercial activities of the country, for numerous transportation routes pass through the state. Indianapolis, the state’s capital and largest city, is itself a crossroads, situated at the center of the state with most transportation routes radiating from it.

Indiana entered the Union on December 11, 1816, as the 19th state. Indiana was originally a heavily forested wilderness area. With the beginning of large-scale settlement early in the 19th century, most of the forests were soon cleared for farmland, and Indiana acquired some of the characteristics of other sections of the Midwest.

Map of Indiana


Geographical map of Indiana
Geographical map of Indiana. Encarta

Indiana geography


The flat or gently rolling central part of the state developed as an area of prosperous farms specializing in corn and grain-fed livestock. All but the southern and southeastern part of the state is part of the so-called Corn Belt that stretches from Ohio to eastern Nebraska. Southern Indiana is largely an area of hills, tracts of forest land, small farms, and small rural communities. The northern lowlands, from the Calumet region in the northwest to Fort Wayne in the east, includes—in addition to farmland—one of the greatest concentrations of industry in the United States. Other industrial and commercial centers are found in central and southern Indiana.

The state’s nickname is the Hoosier State, and the people of Indiana are called Hoosiers. These two names are among the most widely known of all state nicknames, but their origin remains disputed. Among the many explanations is that of Jacob Piatt Dunn. He traced the word back to “hoozer,” a dialect word from the Cumberland district of northwestern England that meant any unusually large feature, such as a hill. It eventually came to mean a hill dweller, and as such, was introduced in hilly southern Indiana, the earliest settled part of the state. Another explanation holds that the term comes from the many Indiana residents hired by contractor Sam Hoosier, who became known as Hoosiers. Still others believe the word is a corruption of pioneer question “Who’s here?” The word Indiana simply means “land of the Indians,” referring to the region’s many Native American inhabitants. The term was coined in the 1760s and first applied to a private tract of land in Pennsylvania. In 1800 it was applied to the Indiana Territory when the United States Congress created it out of the Northwest Territory. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta

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