I built a Graph based on the permutations of city's connections from :

largUSCities = 
Select[CityData[{All, "USA"}], CityData[#, "Population"] > 600000 &];
uScityCoords = CityData[#, "Coordinates"] & /@ largUSCities;
Graph[#[[1]] -> #[[2]] & /@ Permutations[largUSCities, {2}] , 
VertexCoordinates -> Reverse[uScityCoords, 2], VertexStyle -> Red, 
Prolog -> {LightBrown, CountryData["USA", "FullPolygon"]},ImageSize -> 650]

It looks like this: graph

My question, is there any way to have the Graph like this? enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Bottom graph is most populus city in each state. Then there is a pruning algorithm to reduce the number of edges. $\endgroup$
    – Fred Kline
    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ @FredKline could you please help in writing algorithm? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ Imagine a light-house with its revolving light at each city. When the light hits another city, draw the line, unless that line crosses another. The bottom graph has no crossing lines. (i.e., it's planar.) That's the best I can do to help. $\endgroup$
    – Fred Kline
    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @FredKline "Bottom graph is most populus city in each state." — I don't think so, because for CA, it's somewhere in NorCal instead of stinkin' LA ;) $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @rm-rf YES .it is just center of state from (W+E)/2 and (N+S)/2 here $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:25

5 Answers 5


Revised answer

This uses the connectivity between states to create the graph, and uses the coordinates of the center of each state rather than the cities. I couldn't find a way to get these easily from Mathematica or from WolframAlpha (I'm no Harry Potter, and failed to discover the correct incantation for the latter). But I found a table somewhere:

stateConnections = {{"NV", "CA", "AZ", "UT", "ID", "OR"}, {"OR", "CA",
     "NV", "ID", "WA"}, {"TX", "OK", "LA", "NM", "AR"}, {"DC", "VA", 
    "MD"}, {"FL", "GA", "AL"}, {"RI", "MA", "CT"}, {"SC", "GA", 
    "NC"}, {"WA", "OR", "ID"}, {"CA", "NV", "OR", "AZ"}, {"CT", "RI", 
    "MA", "NY"}, {"DE", "MD", "PA", "NJ"}, {"LA", "TX", "MS", 
    "AR"}, {"MI", "IN", "OH", "WI"}, {"ND", "SD", "MN", "MT"}, {"NH", 
    "ME", "VT", "MA"}, {"NJ", "NY", "PA", "DE"}, {"VT", "NH", "MA", 
    "NY"}, {"AL", "GA", "MS", "TN", "FL"}, {"AZ", "CA", "NM", "UT", 
    "NV"}, {"IN", "OH", "MI", "IL", "KY"}, {"KS", "OK", "CO", "MO", 
    "NE"}, {"MD", "DE", "PA", "VA", "WV"}, {"MN", "WI", "IA", "SD", 
    "ND"}, {"MS", "AL", "LA", "AR", "TN"}, {"MT", "ID", "WY", "SD", 
    "ND"}, {"NC", "SC", "VA", "TN", "GA"}, {"NM", "TX", "AZ", "CO", 
    "OK"}, {"WI", "IL", "MI", "IA", "MN"}, {"GA", "FL", "SC", "NC", 
    "AL", "TN"}, {"IL", "IA", "WI", "IN", "KY", "MO"}, {"MA", "VT", 
    "NH", "NY", "RI", "CT"}, {"NV", "CA", "AZ", "UT", "ID", 
    "OR"}, {"NY", "NJ", "VT", "PA", "MA", "CT"}, {"OH", "IN", "WV", 
    "PA", "KY", "MI"}, {"UT", "CO", "WY", "ID", "NV", "AZ"}, {"VA", 
    "WV", "MD", "NC", "TN", "KY"}, {"WV", "VA", "OH", "PA", "MD", 
    "KY"}, {"AR", "TX", "LA", "OK", "MO", "TN", "MS"}, {"CO", "UT", 
    "WY", "NM", "NE", "KS", "OK"}, {"IA", "IL", "WI", "MN", "SD", 
    "NE", "MO"}, {"ID", "WA", "OR", "NV", "UT", "WY", "MT"}, {"NE", 
    "KS", "CO", "WY", "SD", "IA", "MO"}, {"OK", "TX", "CO", "KS", 
    "NM", "AR", "MO"}, {"PA", "WV", "DE", "MD", "NJ", "NY", 
    "OH"}, {"SD", "ND", "MT", "WY", "NE", "IA", "MN"}, {"WY", "MT", 
    "ID", "UT", "CO", "NE", "SD"}, {"KY", "IL", "MO", "TN", "VA", 
    "WV", "OH", "IN"}, {"MO", "IA", "NE", "KS", "OK", "AR", "TN", 
    "KY", "IL"}, {"TN", "KY", "MO", "AR", "MS", "AL", "GA", "NC", 
    "VA"}, {"ME", "NH"}}; 

stateData = {"AK,61.3850,-152.2683", "AL,32.7990,-86.8073", 
   "AR,34.9513,-92.3809", "AZ,33.7712,-111.3877", 
   "CA,36.1700,-119.7462", "CO,39.0646,-105.3272", 
   "CT,41.5834,-72.7622", "DC,38.8964,-77.0262", 
   "DE,39.3498,-75.5148", "FL,27.8333,-81.7170", 
   "GA,32.9866,-83.6487", "HI,21.1098,-157.5311", 
   "IA,42.0046,-93.2140", "ID,44.2394,-114.5103", 
   "IL,40.3363,-89.0022", "IN,39.8647,-86.2604", 
   "KS,38.5111,-96.8005", "KY,37.6690,-84.6514", 
   "LA,31.1801,-91.8749", "MA,42.2373,-71.5314", 
   "MD,39.0724,-76.7902", "ME,44.6074,-69.3977", 
   "MI,43.3504,-84.5603", "MN,45.7326,-93.9196", 
   "MO,38.4623,-92.3020", "MS,32.7673,-89.6812", 
   "MT,46.9048,-110.3261", "NC,35.6411,-79.8431", 
   "ND,47.5362,-99.7930", "NE,41.1289,-98.2883", 
   "NH,43.4108,-71.5653", "NJ,40.3140,-74.5089", 
   "NM,34.8375,-106.2371", "NV,38.4199,-117.1219", 
   "NY,42.1497,-74.9384", "OH,40.3736,-82.7755", 
   "OK,35.5376,-96.9247", "OR,44.5672,-122.1269", 
   "PA,40.5773,-77.2640", "RI,41.6772,-71.5101", 
   "SC,33.8191,-80.9066", "SD,44.2853,-99.4632", 
   "TN,35.7449,-86.7489", "TX,31.1060,-97.6475", 
   "UT,40.1135,-111.8535", "VA,37.7680,-78.2057", 
   "VT,44.0407,-72.7093", "WA,47.3917,-121.5708", 
   "WI,44.2563,-89.6385", "WV,38.4680,-80.9696", 
   "WY,42.7475,-107.2085"} ;

stateAbbreviations = Union[Flatten[stateConnections]];
stateToNumber = 
   Rule, {stateAbbreviations, Range[Length[stateAbbreviations]]}];
numberToState = 
   Rule, {Range[Length[stateAbbreviations]], stateAbbreviations}];
allConnections = 
  Flatten[Function[e, Map[UndirectedEdge[First[e], #] &, Rest[e]]] /@ 
connections = Union[Sort /@ allConnections];
stateCenters = 
  First[StringSplit[#, ","]] -> 
     ToExpression /@ RotateLeft @ Rest[StringSplit[#, ","]]  & /@ 
stateCoords = (# & /@ stateAbbreviations) /. stateCenters;
temp = Graph[connections /. stateToNumber];
vertexCoordinates = stateCoords[[VertexList[temp]]];
g = Graph[connections /. stateToNumber,
   VertexCoordinates -> vertexCoordinates,
   VertexLabels -> numberToState,
   VertexShapeFunction -> "Square",
   VertexSize -> 3,
   VertexLabelStyle -> Directive[Black, 12]];

Show[Graphics[{LightGray, CountryData["USA", "Polygon"]}], g, 
 ImageSize -> 700]

graph of the usa

Apparently the order of the vertices is required from the graph before you can draw the vertices at the right coordinates on the graph - hence the weird use of temp = Graph[connections /. stateToNumber] before creating the graph again for real.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi great answer .Can you bind your answer with the first answer?Cause the city connections are more important to me than the states.of course it is still a class to me $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ @alex no I can't :) I need the coordinates of each state in order to position the vertices correctly... $\endgroup$
    – cormullion
    Jul 12, 2013 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry it is very complex or I am underestimating that or...?Is it these data are just center of for example (W+E)/2 and (N+S)/2 here ???I think you had already done a big part. $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ @alex hmm yes, that's the data needed- just needs importing as a list and should be ok. I'll do it later perhaps. But looking again at the second graph you have in your question, I'm wondering what precisely you want to show. $\endgroup$
    – cormullion
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ When you are running the code ,it returns the same graph or I need to add something?Do I need to call anything in Needs? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:30

I think what you are after is a Delaunay triangulation of the city coordinates. For example:


 UndirectedEdge @@@ Delaunay[Reverse[uScityCoords, 2]]["Edges"],
 VertexCoordinates -> Reverse[uScityCoords, 2],
 VertexStyle -> Red, 
 Prolog -> {LightBrown, CountryData["USA", "FullPolygon"]}, 
 ImageSize -> 650

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ many thanks .That is the answer.Great i have to admit thats amazing to me!!But i am kind of new in Mathematica.I know it is a big clue but it is not final code?Am i right?what is cd here? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Alex, oops my apologies - cd was a symbol I was using for the polygon - I've restored it to how it should be. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2013 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ Does your code have to return your graph now?! $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Alex, I'm not sure what you mean by that last comment. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2013 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ I am coping your exact code and it returns nothing! What could be wrong? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:14


First, let's get some map data. This is an 8MB file and you might want to save it locally.

map = First@
state.zip", "Data"];

Then, look at the answers that are better than yours (nod nod cormullion), and steal from them. I'm taking the stateConnections and stateData he defines. I won't reprint them here.

shape = "Geometry" /. map;
names = "STUSPS" /. "LabeledData" /. map[[4]] // Quiet;
cshape = shape[[DeleteCases[Range[56], 
     Alternatives @@ {1, 5, 7, 19, 27, 28, 33, 38}]]];
cnames = names[[DeleteCases[Range[56], 
    Alternatives @@ {1, 5, 7, 19, 27, 28, 33, 38}]]]; shape = 
 "Geometry" /. map;
names = "STUSPS" /. "LabeledData" /. map[[4]] // Quiet;
themap = Show[
    Graphics@{EdgeForm[{White, Thick}], FaceForm[LightGray], 
       Tooltip[#1, #2]} &, {cshape, cnames}]];

(* Make map points with Cormullion's data *)

cpoint2 = Reverse /@ Flatten[ToExpression[
        Map[StringSplit[#, ","] &, 
         stateData], {#, x__, y__} -> {x, y}]] & /@ cnames, 1];

(* Make adjacency matrix with Cormullion's data *)

Table[Map[{i, #} &, 
     Alternatives @@ 
      Cases[stateConnections, x_ /; x[[1]] == cnames[[i]]][[1, 
        2 ;;]]]], {i, 1, 48}];
sam2 = SparseArray[Flatten[%, 1] -> 1];

(* Make adjacency graph *)

graph = AdjacencyGraph[Range[Length[cpoint2]], sam2, 
   VertexCoordinates -> cpoint2];
Show[themap, graph, Background -> LightBlue]

Here's what we get:

connection map

  • $\begingroup$ Hi thanks looks very nice job. your code is crashing the kernel.Which version of MMA you are using mine is MMA 9.0.1 OS Mac $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ MMA 9.0.1 Win 7/64 - Memory does appear to be an issue with loading the shape files from TIGER. Is is that line or the subsequent commands? $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2013 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Alex yup, something wrong with my revision - give me a few minutes. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2013 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know .The download part is alright.In next second part it remain irresponsible that I have to Force Quit the MMA $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ BTW can you run the Simon's code in your PC? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 21:13

Another trivial way to keep the cities connected and at the same time reduce the number of edges in the graph.

<< ComputationalGeometry`;
rule = MapThread[#1 -> #2 &, {uScityCoords, largUSCities}];
graph = (Rest@PlanarGraphPlot[uScityCoords][[1, 2]] /. 
 Line[{a_, b_}] -> UndirectedEdge[a, b]) /. rule; 
gorg = Graph[graph, VertexCoordinates -> Reverse[uScityCoords, 2], 
 EdgeStyle -> Directive[Opacity[.6], Gray, Thick], 
 VertexSize -> 0.8,Prolog -> {LightRed, CountryData["USA", "FullPolygon"]}, 
 ImageSize -> 450, AspectRatio -> .5]; 
convexhull = ConvexHull[uScityCoords];
conv =PlanarGraphPlot[Reverse[uScityCoords, 2], convexhull,LabelPoints -> False];
edge = EdgeList[g];
g = gorg;
For[i = 1, i <= 1500, i++,
ng = EdgeDelete[g, RandomChoice@edge];
g = If[ConnectedGraphQ[ng] === True, edge = EdgeList[ng]; ng, g];
Row@{gorg, Spacer[60], Show[g, conv, AspectRatio -> .5]}

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Cool pictures! Although the OP's picture suggests that they want to connect only each adjacent state... $\endgroup$
    – cormullion
    Jul 12, 2013 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @cormullion you had already done that nicely when I saw this question so I thought to add little randomness to the set of answers...;) $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2013 at 14:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ if only we could put our two answers in a blender:) $\endgroup$
    – cormullion
    Jul 12, 2013 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Hi ,many thanks but the first answer is what I am looking for.Of course Cormullion's answer is great but it needs some manual considerations. $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jul 12, 2013 at 14:43

I asked about something similar, but it's with data for municipalities in Brazil. Since I couldn't find the names and locations for them on WolframAlpha (well at least not elegantly) then I resorted to the sledgehammer approach. Where I the image of the map, added a layer to it and then put dots where I wanted the nodes to go. After that I could have used morphologicalgraph to get their positions and then have the background of my graph be an image. Here is the question: Adding an image background to a graph that uses vertexposition


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