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Is Kansas the Flattest State?

The view from Mount Sunflower, Kansas's highest elevation.
Creative Commons
The view from Mount Sunflower, Kansas's highest elevation.

Exactly how flat is Kansas?

As Atlas Obscura reports, Kansas geographer Jerry Dobson has been dogged his whole career by that very question. Finally, a few years ago, he and fellow Kansas geographer Joshua Campbell undertook to measure the flatness of every state in the union.

To find an answer, they used an algorithm designed to calculate how flat each state looks from different points in its interior. It’s a measurement Campbell calls “that feeling of total flatness.” Their results found that, while Kansas is certainly pancake-esque, it doesn’t win the flat award. Kansas came in a respectable seventh in the flatness rankings, behind Delaware, North Dakota, and the clear winner, Florida. Since their discovery, these two Sunflower State scientists have made it their mission to spread the news: though it may look it, Kansas is not the flattest state.