|Kansas state symbols|
The Flag of Kansas
The Seal of Kansas
|Amphibian||Barred tiger salamander|
|Insect||Western honey bee|
|Reptile||Ornate box turtle|
|Soil||Harney silt loam (unofficial)|
|State route marker|
Released in 2005
|Lists of United States state symbols|
Kansas (pronounced /kăn'zəs/) is a state in the Midwestern United States of America. Kansas has a total population of 2.9 million, with an area of 82,000 sq mi (212,379 km2), making Kansas the 34th largest state by population and the 15th largest state by area. The name of the state comes from the Kansa Native Americans, whose name comes from a Siouan-language phrase meaning "people of the south wind". The land that would become Kansas was bought in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Kansas became the 34th state to be admitted to the United States on January 29, 1861. Kansas' capital is Topeka, and its largest city is Wichita.
Kansas is in a region known as America's Breadbasket. Like other states in this area, Kansas is a large producer of wheat and other grains, producing one-fifth of all wheat grown in the United States. In addition to wheat, Kansas produces large amounts of grain sorghum, summer potatoes, and sunflowers, with other industries in Kansas including aviation and communications.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Weather
- 4 Population
- 5 Economy
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Law and government
- 8 Education
- 9 Culture
- 10 State symbols
- 11 Related pages
- 12 References
- 13 Other websites
History[change | change source]
Early history[change | change source]
In 1539, Marcos de Niza, a friar, reported rumors of Cíbola, a city of gold, to Spanish colonial officials in Mexico City. Niza said the city was in modern-day New Mexico. In response to the rumors, two years later, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado,with an army of 3000 Spaniards and 8001 Mexicans, marched northward from Culiacán in hopes of finding the city.When Coronado did not find the city in New Mexico, he continued northeast into the Mississippi Valley, crossing the present area of Kansas diagonally. This made Conrado and his army the first Europeans to see the Great Plains, including Kansas. Later, Juan de Oñate also traveled to Kansas in 1601.
In 1682, Marquette, Joliet, Hennepin and other French leaders took formal control of the Mississippi Valley, including the land that would become Kansas. This land, known as the Louisiana territory, was used to organize trade with Native Americans. In 1762, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain. However, in 1801, Spain receded the territory back to France in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. On April 30, 1803, Napoleon sold the Louisiana territory to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. In the early 1800s, Kansas was used to hold Native Americans that were removed from their native lands.
Statehood[change | change source]
On May 30, 1854, the Congress signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Kansas-Nebraska Act stated that Kansas and Nebraska were both territories of the United States. It also stated that Kansans would vote on the legality of slavery.
Upon hearing this, about 1,200 armed New Englanders came to Kansas to vote against slavery. However, thousands of southerners, mostly from Missouri, came to vote for slavery. The final vote was to make slavery legal, and Kansas adopted most of Missouri's slave laws. There was fighting between Southerners and Northerners in Kansas. In one fight, John Brown and his men killed five people in the Pottawatomie Massacre. Later, Southerners destroyed Lawrence, Kansas. Kansas was called "Bleeding Kansas".
Between 1854 and 1861, Kansas proposed four state constitutions. Out of the four proposed constitutions, three did not allow slavery. Finally, in July 1859, Kansas passed the Wyandotte Constitution, which was anti-slavery. The constitution for statehood was sent to the U.S. government in April 1860 to be voted on. The constitution was passed by the House of Representatives, but rejected by the Senate. This is because southern voters in the Senate did not like that Kansas would become a state without slavery. In 1861, after the Confederate states formed, the constitution gained approval from the Union, and Kansas became a state.
Kansas in the Civil War[change | change source]
On August 21, 1863, William Clarke Quantrill led a force of 300 to 400 Confederates into the town of Lawrence, Kansas. Quantrill and his troops burned, looted, and destroyed the anti-slavery town. This battle became known as the Lawrence Massacre. In total, 164 Union soldiers and 40 Confederate soldiers died in the Lawrence Massacre. In the Battle of Mine Creek, on October 25, 1864, Union soldiers attacked Confederates as they were crossing the Mine Creek. The Union surrounded the Confederates, and captured 600 men and two generals. 1,000 Confederate soldiers and 100 Union soldiers died in the battle. In total, 8,500 people from Kansas died or were wounded in the Civil War.
Post Civil War[change | change source]
After the Civil War, many free slaves came to Oklahoma and Kansas. In fact, between the years of 1879 and 1881, about 60,000 African Americans came to this region. This is because the slaves wanted economic opportunities, which they believed awaited them in Kansas. African Americans also came to Kansas for better political rights and to escape sharecropping.
Recent history[change | change source]
Dust Bowl[change | change source]
From 1930 to 1936, Kansas went through a period of time called the Dust Bowl. During this time, Kansas had little rainfall and high temperatures. Thousands of farmers became very poor and had to move to other parts of the United States. In total, 400,000 people left the Great Plains area. The years from 1930 to 1940 was the only time the population of Kansas went down. The number of people living in Kansas decreased 4.3 percent.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas[change | change source]
During the 1950s, school segregation was required in fifteen U.S states. However, Kansas was not one of these states. Instead, school segregation was permitted by local option, but only in elementary schools. In 1896, the ruling from Plessy v. Ferguson stated that segregation was allowed, but equal facilities should be made available for blacks and whites. Often, however, black schools received less funding and had fewer textbooks than white schools.
For these reasons, Linda Brown and her family sued the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Brown won the case, and the ruling was to overturn the Plessy v. Ferguson decision. This was considered by many a landmark case in the civil rights movement.
Geography[change | change source]
Kansas is the 15th-largest state in the United States. It covers an area of 82,282 square miles (213,109 km2). Of this, about 462 square miles (1196.57 km2) are water. This makes up 0.60% of the total area of the state.
Kansas is one of six states on the Frontier Strip. Kansas shares borders with Nebraska to the north, Oklahoma to the south, Missouri to the east, and Colorado to the west. The geographic center of the main 48 states is near Lebanon, Kansas. The geographic center of Kansas is in Barton County.
Topography[change | change source]
All of Kansas is in the Great Plains, where the land is mostly flat with prairies and grasslands. Eastern Kansas has hills and forests, like the Flint Hills and the Osage Plains in the southeastern part of the state.
Kansas increases in elevation from east to west. The highest point in the state is Mount Sunflower near the Colorado border. Mount Sunflower is 4,039 ft (1,231 m) tall. The lowest point is the Verdigris River in Montgomery County, at 679 ft (207 m) above sea level. It is a common misconception that Kansas is the flattest state — in 2003, a tongue-in-cheek study famously said the state is "flatter than a pancake". Kansas has a maximum topographic relief of 3,360 ft (1,020 m). This makes Kansas the 23rd flattest U.S. state.
Rivers[change | change source]
About 75 mi (121 km) of the Kansas's northeastern border is the Missouri River. The Kansas River is created by the junction of the Smoky Hill River and Republican River. This happens at Junction City. The Kansas River then joins the Missouri River at Kansas City. It goes 170 mi (270 km) across the northeastern part of the state.
Kansas's has other rivers. There is the Saline River and the Solomon River. They are tributaries of the Smoky Hill River. The Big Blue River, the Delaware River, and the Wakarusa River flow into the Kansas River. The Marais des Cygnes River is a tributary of the Missouri River. Spring River is between Riverton and Baxter Springs.
Weather[change | change source]
Kansas has a varied climate with an average yearly temperature of 56°F (13°C). The record high in Kansas is 121 °F (49.4 °C). This occurred in Fredonia on July 18, 1936, and in Alton on July 24, 1936. The record low in Kansas is -40 °F (-40 °C). This occurred in Lebanon on February 13, 1905. Kansas is in a temperate area of the country. Like other states in this region, Kansas has four distinct seasons.
Kansas can have extreme weather in all four seasons. For example, in spring and autumn, Kansas has many tornadoes. In fact, the state averages 55 tornadoes per year. This is because Kansas is in the area known as Tornado Alley, where cold and warm air masses come together to make severe weather.
In winter, Kansas has snow in most parts of the state. The average snowfall in the northern half of the state is 16 inches, with the average snowfall in the southern half of the state being 8 inches. Blizzards and related snowstorms are rare in Kansas.
|Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Kansas Cities|
|Concordia Weather - Kansas - Average Temperatures and Rainfall Dodge City Weather - Kansas - Average Temperatures and Rainfall Goodland Weather - Kansas - Average Temperatures and Rainfall Topeka Weather - Kansas - Average Temperatures and Rainfall Wichita Weather - Kansas - Average Temperatures and Rainfall|
Population[change | change source]
Kansas had 627 cities in 2008. The largest city in Kansas is Wichita, which had a population of 382,368 in 2010. The other largest cities in Kansas are: Overland Park, 173,372; Kansas City, 145,786; Topeka, 127,473; and Olathe, 125,872. Between the years of 2000 and 2010, the Kansas population increased 6.1 percent.
Ancestry[change | change source]
The 2010 Census says that the people of Kansas were:
- 83.8% White American (77.5% non-Hispanic white)
- 5.9% Black or African American
- 1.0% American Indian and Alaska Native
- 2.4% Asian American
- 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
- 3.0% from two or more races.
Ethnically 10.5% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race). They are mostly in southwest Kansas. Many black people in Kansas were from the Exodusters, free black people who left the South.
As of 2011, 35.0% of Kansas's population younger than one year old were part of a minority group (i.e., did not have two parents who were non-Hispanic white).
|Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
|Two or more races||–||2.1%||3.0%|
Language[change | change source]
Economy[change | change source]
|Largest private employers (as of 2016)|
|No. 1||Spirit AeroSystems||12,000||Wichita||Aviation|
|No. 2||Sprint Corporation||7,600||Overland Park||Telecommunications|
|No. 3||Textron Aviation||6,812||Wichita||Aviation|
|No. 4||General Motors||4,000||Kansas City||Automotive manufacturing|
|No. 5||Bombardier Aerospace||3,500||Wichita||Aviation|
|No. 6||Black & Veatch||3,500||Overland Park||Engineering Consulting|
|No. 7||National Beef||3500||Liberal||Food Products|
|No. 8||Tyson Foods||3,200||Holcomb||Food Products|
|No. 9||Performance Contracting||2,900||Lenexa||Roofing & siding|
|No. 10||National Beef||2,500||Dodge City||Food Products|
Farming has always been an important part of the state economy of Kansas. The main crop grown in Kansas is wheat. In fact, Kansas farmers produce about 400 million bushels of wheat per year. Kansas also ranks first in the United States in grain sorghum produced, second in cropland, and third in sunflowers produced. However, farming is not the only important part of the economy of Kansas. Many parts of airplanes are made in the city of Wichita. Also, many important companies are near Kansas City, Missouri. For example, the Sprint Nextel Corporation is one of the largest telephone companies in the United States. Its main operational offices are in Overland Park, Kansas.
About 90% of Kansas's land is used for farming. Kansas's agricultural products are cattle, sheep, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, cotton, hogs, corn, and salt. As of 2018, there were 59,600 farms in Kansas, 86 (0.14%) of which are certified organic farms. The average farm in the state is about 770 acres (more than a square mile). In 2016, the average cost of running the farm was $300,000.
The median household income for Kansas was $47,709 in 2009. The gross domestic product (GDP) for Kansas was $122,700,000,000 ($122.7 billion) in 2008. Overall, Kansas' GDP accounts for less than 1 percent of total U.S. economy.
Kansas has three big military bases: Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth, and McConnell Air Force Base. The US Army reserve has about 25,000 soldiers at these bases, and they also have about 8,000 civilian employees there.
Transportation[change | change source]
Highways[change | change source]
Interstate 70 is an important east-west highway. People can go from Kansas City, Missouri to Denver, Colorado. Cities on this highway include Colby, Hays, Salina, Junction City, Topeka, Lawrence, Bonner Springs, and Kansas City.
Interstate Highways[change | change source]
U.S. Routes[change | change source]
Law and government[change | change source]
State and local politics[change | change source]
Legislative branch: The legislative branch is the Kansas Legislature. It is a bicameral legislature. It has the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate. The House has 125 members, and the Senate has 40 members.
Political culture[change | change source]
Since the middle of the 20th century, Kansas has been socially conservative. In 1999 and 2005, the Board of Education voted to stop teaching evolution in schools. In 2005, Kansas banned same-sex marriage. In 2006, Kansas made the lowest age to marry 15 years old.
National politics[change | change source]
The state's current delegation to the Congress of the United States includes Republican Senators Pat Roberts of Dodge City and Jerry Moran of Manhattan; and Republican Representatives Roger Marshall of Great Bend (District 1), Steve Watkins (District 2), Ron Estes of Wichita (District 4), and Democratic Representative Sharice Davids (District 3).
Kansas has been strongly Republican. The Republican Party was very strong since Kansas became a state. This is because Republicans were very anti-slavery, and Kansas was also anti-slavery. Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the United States Senate since 1932.
Education[change | change source]
Culture[change | change source]
Music[change | change source]
Books[change | change source]
Kansas's most famous appearance in a book was as the home of Dorothy Gale. She is the main character in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).
Movies[change | change source]
- Dorothy Gale (portrayed by Judy Garland) in the 1939 fantasy film The Wizard of Oz was a young girl who lived in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. The line, "We're not in Kansas anymore", has become a phrase to describe veryy new and/or unexpected situation.
- The 1967 feature film In Cold Blood was set in various locations across Kansas. Many parts in the film were filmed at the exact places where the events in the book happened. A 1996 TV miniseries was also based on the book.
- The 1988 film Kansas starred Andrew McCarthy as a traveler who met up with a dangerous wanted drifter played by Matt Dillon.
- The 2005 film Capote, for which Philip Seymour Hoffman was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the title character. He profiled the author as he traveled across Kansas while writing In Cold Blood (although most of the film itself was shot in the Canadian province of Manitoba).
- The setting of The Day After, a 1983 made-for-television movie about a fictional nuclear attack, was the city of Lawrence.
- The 2013 film Man of Steel is set primarily in Kansas (as Superman is from Smallville, Kansas – a fictitious town).
- The 2012 film Looper is set in Kansas.
- The 1973 film Paper Moon in which Tatum O'Neal won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (The youngest to win an Academy Award) was based in and filmed in Kansas. The film was shot in the small towns of Hays; McCracken; Wilson; and St. Joseph, Missouri. Various shooting locations include the Midland Hotel at Wilson; the railway depot at Gorham; storefronts and buildings on Main Street in White Cloud; Hays; sites on both sides of the Missouri River; Rulo Bridge; and Saint Joseph, Missouri.
- Parts of the 1996 film Mars Attacks! were set in the fictional town of Perkinsville. Scenes set in Kansas were filmed in Burns, Lawrence, and Wichita.
- The 2007 film The Lookout is set mostly in Kansas (although filmed in Canada). Specifically two locations; Kansas City and the fictional town of Noel, Kansas.
- The 2012 documentary The Gridiron was filmed at The University of Kansas
- The 2014 ESPN documentary No Place Like Home was filmed in Lawrence and the countryside of Douglas County, Kansas
- The 2017 film Thank You for Your Service is mostly set in Kansas, including the cities of Topeka and Junction City.
- The 2017 documentary When Kings Reigned was filmed in Lawrence.
- The 2019 film Brightburn was set in the fictional town of Brightburn. As is evident with scenes in the film depicting mountains (Kansas has no mountain ranges), it was filmed in Georgia instead of in Kansas.
State symbols[change | change source]
The state symbols of Kansas are:
|Symbol||State symbol||Photograph||Date adopted||Notes|
|State flower||Native Sunflower||"...[The sunflower is] the pride of the present, and richly emblematic of the majesty of a golden future".|
|State bird||Western Meadowlark||Students elected the western meadowlark as the state bird in a poll conducted by the Kansas Aubudon Society in 1923.|
|State tree||Cottonwood||"The cottonwood tree can rightfully be called "the pioneer tree of Kansas"".|
|State song||Home on the Range||Home on the Range, performed by James Richardson in 1939||–|
|State animal||The American Buffalo||The American Buffalo provided Kansan Native Americans with meat, rope, rawhide, and other materials for everyday life.|
Carin Terrier state dog
Related pages[change | change source]
- Colleges and universities in Kansas
- List of counties in Kansas
- List of locations in Kansas
- List of rivers of Kansas
- List of United States Senators from Kansas
References[change | change source]
- "Kansas State Nickname - The Sunflower State". statesymbolsusa.org.
- "Kansas Entered the Union as a Free State". www.americaslibrary.gov.
- "Governor's Signature Makes English the Official Language of Kansas". US English. May 11, 2007. Archived from the original on July 10, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Geography, US Census Bureau. "State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates". Archived from the original on March 16, 2018.
- "Kansas Geography from NETSTATE". Archived from the original on June 4, 2016.
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- "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
- Webster, Noah (1990). The Tormont Webster's Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary. United States of America: Tormont Publications Inc. p. 918. ISBN 978-2-921171-32-8. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
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- "Kansas Agricultural Statistics". Kansas Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
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- "1862 Across the Continent". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Winas 1902, p. 7
- Larned 1894, p. 1936
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- "Bleeding Kansas". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
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- Winas 1902, p. 8
- Larned 1894, p. 1937
- Winas 1902, p. 9
- Ingalls 1892, p. 705
- "Cemeteries - Fort Scott National Cemetery - Burial and Memorial Benefits". cem.va.gov. 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- "Civil War Battle Summaries by State". nps.gov. 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- "Battle Summary: Lawrence, KS". nps.gov. 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- "Battle Summary: Mine Creek, KS". nps.gov. 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- "General Article: Call of the West". Public Broadcasting Station. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
- "Migrations: The African-American Mosaic (Library of Congress Exhibition)". loc.gov. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
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- "Population Growth, Kansas and the U.S. 1860-2009, Selected Years" (PDF). ipsr.ku.edu. December 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Segregation in 1950" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- "Topeka, Kansas - Separate Is Not Equal". americanhistory.si.edu. 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- "A Century of Racial Segregation - 'With an Even Hand': Brown v. Board at Fifty (Library of Congress Exhibition)". loc.gov. 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
The 1896 court ruling in Plessy v Ferguson ushered in an era of "separate but equal" facilities and treatment for blacks and whites.
- "Beginnings of Black Education - The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia - Virginia Historical Society". vahistorical.org. 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- "Jefferson - Enlightenment: Brown v. Board of Education - Racial Segregation in Public Schools". pbs.org. 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- "Brown v. Board: Five Communities That Changed America". cr.nps.gov. 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "How much of your state is wet?". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- "UNL | Map of the Great Plains". unl.edu. 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- "Kansas Is Flatter Than a Pancake". Improbable.com. Archived from the original on July 30, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Highest, Lowest, and Mean Elevations in the United States". infoplease.com. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- "Fracas over Kansas pancake flap". Geotimes.org. Archived from the original on January 24, 2004. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Kansas Response Plan 2008" (PDF). kansas.gov. October 2007. p. 14. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
- "Kansas Climate Records - WFO Wichita, Kansas". crh.noaa.gov. 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- "Annual Average Number of Tornadoes, 1953-2004". ncdc.noaa.gov. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
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- "ca000076.jpg (JPEG Image, 2082x2838 pixels)". lib.utexas.edu. 2004. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
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- "QuickFacts Kansas; UNITED STATES". 2018 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 3, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
- "Place Types and Counts". census.gov. 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
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- Paladino, Bob (2007). Five key principles of corporate performance management. Wiley. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-470-00991-8. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
- Brown, Corie (April 26, 2018). "Rural Kansas is dying. I drove 1,800 miles to find out why". New Food Economy. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
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- I-70 – the First Open Interstate, Kansas Department of Transportation, archived from the original on October 26, 2016, retrieved October 7, 2016
- Los Angeles Times. Vote by Kansas School Board Favors Evolution's Doubters Archived February 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "Kansas Lawmakers Set Minimum Marriage Age to 15". Fox News. May 5, 2006. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- Hanna, John (November 8, 2005). "Kansas School Board Casts Doubts on Evolution". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- "Kansas Quick Facts". governor.ks.gov. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- "Guinness World Records: Kansas venue is world's oldest cinema". Kansas City Star. March 8, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- "Oldest purpose-built cinema in operation". Guinness World Records. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- "PBR: Toto – we're not in Kansas anymore..." BBC Newsnight. December 9, 2009. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014.
- "The Lookout" (PDF). dailyscript.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 12, 2013.
- "Kansas Quick Facts". governor.ks.gov. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- according to the Kansas state legislature, see "Kansas– United States Senator Jerry Moran". moran.senate.gov. 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- Capace, Nancy (2000). Encyclopedia of Kansas. Somerset Pubs. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-403-09312-0. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- "American Buffalo" (PDF). kshs.org. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
Book sources[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kansas.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide about: Kansas|
- "Kansas' official website".
- "The Kansas Department of Health and Environment".
- "The Kansas Historical Society".
- "Kansas Travel and Tourism Division".
- Kansas Department of Transportation maps
- Highway Map (PDF), KS: KSDOT, 2017.
- Railroad Map (PDF), KS: KSDOT, 2017.
- "Access state, county, city, railroad, and other maps", Kansas Memory (digital portal), the Kansas State Historical Society.
- Geographic data related to Kansas at OpenStreetMap
- "Kansas Maps", Perry–Castañeda Library (map collection), The University of Texas.