2. The New York State Pavilion Texaco Map Was the Largest Known Representation of any 50,000 Sq. Mile on Earth’s Surface

A remnant of the Texaco terrazzo floor map that once lined the floor of the Tent of Tomorrow

Now buried under sand, tarp and gravel, the Texaco Terrazzo map was installed on the floor of the “Tent of Tomorrow” at the request of architect Philip Johnson. Covering 9,000-square-feet and measuring 130-feet-by-166-feet, the $1 million project was constructed out of 567 terrazzo mosaic panels, which each weighed 400 pounds (for a total weight of 114 tons). On rare visits inside the pavilion, you will may see a few tiles that have been preserved and displayed (photo above).

According to Rand McNally & Company, which supplied the topographic information for the map, the Texaco project was the largest known representation of any 50,000-square-mile area of the earth’s surface, featuring detailed highways, towns, cities and the location of every Texaco gas station in the state. To produce the floor map, grid sections of a Texaco map were magnified 64 times; the scale was so large that local landmarks could have been recognized if they were placed on it.

Had it not succumbed to decades of wear and tear, it would still remain the world’s largest single cartographic image to this day.