This USGS Map Treats Disneyland's Matterhorn as a Real Mountain

Illustration for article titled This USGS Map Treats Disneylands Matterhorn as a Real Mountain

Can you blame the U.S. Geological Survey for having a bit of fun when when it mapped Disneyland?


This 1965 topo map from the United States' official mapping agency seems to treat the theme park's Matterhorn—a 1/100 scale model of the Alpine peak—as a real mountain. The map labels the summit and gives its "elevation" in italicized numerals: 279 feet above sea level.

Of course, this may be more than a cartographic joke. Perhaps the USGS simply considered the roller-coaster structure—built of wood and steel with a plaster veneer—as a useful survey benchmark. Disney's "mountain" does rise 147 feet above the plains of Anaheim, making it a prominent feature of the suburban landscape. [USGS]

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Cutaway of the Matterhorn. Back when I lived in southern California, I knew one of the mountain climbers. fittingly, she was a blond named Ingrid.