Chicago, Illinois, US, printable exact vector map Adobe PDF editable City Plan V3.09, full vector, scalable, editable text format street names, 38 Mb ZIP.
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City in Illinois
Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline bristling with skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, sleek, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower and neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute and its expansive collections, including noted Impressionist works.
Population: 2.719 million (2013)
Sports teams: Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States. With over 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States, and the county seat of Cook County. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10 million people and is the third-largest in the U.S.
Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, and grew rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century. The city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation: O’Hare International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world when measured by aircraft traffic; the region also has the largest number of U.S. highways and rail road freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranked seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index. Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—about $630.3 billion according to 2014-2016 estimates. The Chicago metropolitan area is also home to several universities, including Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago.
In 2014, Chicago had 50.2 million international and domestic visitors. Chicago’s culture includes the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, gospel and house music. It also has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues. Chicago has many nicknames, the best-known being the Windy City.
• City 234.0 sq mi (606 km2)
• Land 227.3 sq mi (589 km2)
• Water 6.9 sq mi (18 km2) 3.0%
• Urban 2,122.8 sq mi (5,498 km2)
• Metro 10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)
Elevation 594 ft (181 m)
– near Blue Island 672 ft (205 m)
– at Lake Michigan 578 ft (176 m)
• City 2,695,598
• Estimate (July 1, 2015) 2,720,546
• Rank 3rd largest city in U.S.
Largest in Illinois and in the Midwestern United States
• Density 11,864.4/sq mi (4,447.4/km2)
• Metro 9,551,031 (3rd)
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
• Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
ZIP Code Prefixes 606xx, 607xx, 608xx
Area codes 312/872 and 773/872
Chicago’s present natural geography is a result of the large glaciers of the Ice Age, namely the Wisconsinan Glaciation that carved out the modern basin of Lake Michigan (which formed from the glacier’s meltwater). The city of Chicago itself sits on the Chicago Plain, a flat plain that was once the bottom of ancestral Lake Chicago. This plain has very little topographical relief, in fact, topographical relief is so unusual in the plain that what would be unnoticed hills and ridges in other locales have been given names. The highest natural point within the city limits is in the Beverly neighborhood at 41°42′12.5″N 87°40′37″W at 672 ft (205 m). In pioneer days, this hill was called Blue Island, so named because at a distance it looked like an island set in a trackless prairie sea. In fact it, and the nearby Stony Island, were both islands in Lake Chicago, as it receded. On the North side, the diagonals Clark Street and Ridge Boulevard run along ridges that were once sandbars in the Lake.
One special feature of the Chicago area was the now-vanished Mud Lake in the Des Plaines River watershed. During heavy periods of rain or when the Des Plaines overflowed its banks due to downstream ice dams in the early spring, the river would flow through Mud Lake to the South Branch of the Chicago River, forming a favorite portage for early traders and creating the path of the future I&M and Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canals. When the city we know today was initially founded in the 1830s, the land was swampy and most of the early building began on low dunes around the Chicago River’s mouth. Indeed, Chicago’s low lying geography, which ultimately became crucial to its boom town development (as the site of the Chicago Portage and canal), could not initially attract substantial early settlement because the tall grass prairie around its lake and river systems was underlain by hard packed glacial clay, making much of the area forbidding wetlands. Thus, the paradox of Chicago’s development as a city in the 19th century became taking advantage of this geography, but also overcoming its limitations.
North of the city of Chicago, there are steep bluffs and ravines that run along Lake Michigan. In contrast, south of the city of Chicago into Northwest Indiana it is without bluffs, but instead has sand dunes. The greatest example of these can be seen at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, where some dunes reach up to almost 200 feet. Farther inland, a series of moraines surrounds the Chicago Plain. This surrounding area is hilly and higher than the Chicago Plain. Past the moraines, the land flattens out again, but is interspersed with a few deep river valleys such as the Illinois River, Fox River, Des Plaines River, and Kankakee River. Here you may find rock cliffs and rock ravines, which are absent from the interior Chicago area (the ravines of the north shore and south suburbs are soil ravines without any rock).
City limits of Chicago.
Also, a very large limestone quarry (Thornton Quarry) exists just south of the city of Chicago in the suburb of Thornton. It was once a coral reef when the Midwest was covered by a warm inland sea (hundreds of millions of years before the glaciation of the Chicago area). The rest of the Chicago area does not have bedrock this close to the surface.
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