Comparing Rhode Island’s Size

I recently received this incredible shirt (I think the Easter bunny must stalk my Facebook page…but the shirt is also available online here).  I loved the idea behind it; the T-shirt mingles big-state bravado that declared regional superiority, with small-state insecurity that begs not forgotten. Both sentiments, even if they are on opposite side of the spectrum, display an enormous sense of regional pride, communal identity.  My first thought to check the truthfulness of this map was to see how many “Rhode Islands” there are in state Texas using this clever website that shows the number of areal units equal to the size of Rhode Island that are in any given country. And despite what that southwest bravado may lead you to believe, Texas isn’t its own country. So I needed to find a different website which lets you overlay any two places one on top of the other. This is a fantastic resource for help leverage your students’ local knowledge to teach them about places that are more remote and where their mental maps might have very little data.  So using those two websites, how accurate is this T-Shirt?  Now, any ideas on how to verify/debunk the oft repeated statement that Rhode Island is 3% larger at low tide?  Any geospatial ideas on how to conceptually go about answering this question? 

 So never mess with the Ocean State…even if this is Texas’ version of Earth Day.

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