August 27, 2012 3:00 PM Subscribe

I am trying to find common equivalents for various acre sizes. What is a thing/place many people are familiar with that is (more or less) 50 acres? 100 acres? 200 acres? 1000 acres? 2000 acres? 10,000 acres?

These are the different sizes I'm seeking rough equivalents for:

50 acres:

100 acres:

200 acres:

1000 acres:

2000 acres:

10,000 acres:

15,000 acres: Manhattan

100,000 acres:
posted by punkbitch to Science & Nature (18 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

These are the different sizes I'm seeking rough equivalents for:

50 acres:

100 acres:

200 acres:

1000 acres:

2000 acres:

10,000 acres:

15,000 acres: Manhattan

100,000 acres:

Tiananmen Square is just over 100 acres.

posted by theodolite at 3:05 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by theodolite at 3:05 PM on August 27, 2012

Golden Gate Park is San Francisco is almost exactly 1000 acres.

posted by theodolite at 3:07 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by theodolite at 3:07 PM on August 27, 2012

It might help to know that an acre is approximately the same size as a football field or a soccer pitch. (Wikipedia)

Cities, states, and lakes are probably your best bet, as people often look at them on a map and compare their sizes to other things on that map. For a park or a square, unless you regularly spend a lot of time there, most people would have no idea how big it is, even if they've heard of it and/or visited once or twice.

posted by danceswithlight at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2012

Cities, states, and lakes are probably your best bet, as people often look at them on a map and compare their sizes to other things on that map. For a park or a square, unless you regularly spend a lot of time there, most people would have no idea how big it is, even if they've heard of it and/or visited once or twice.

posted by danceswithlight at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2012

Central Park is 834 acres, which can serve for 1000 in a pinch. Also its a rectangle.

posted by griphus at 3:13 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by griphus at 3:13 PM on August 27, 2012

The nation of Liechtenstein is just about 100,000 acres.

posted by theodolite at 3:14 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by theodolite at 3:14 PM on August 27, 2012

It's often easier to express larger figures in terms of lots of smaller ones. For example, if you say Boston Common is 50 acres and I don't know the size of an acre, and I've never been to Boston Common, I'm still lost.

But if you said, "The area of Boston Common is about 50 football fields," I'll instantly have a picture in my head.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:19 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

But if you said, "The area of Boston Common is about 50 football fields," I'll instantly have a picture in my head.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:19 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

100,000 acres is 156.25 square miles, which is about the area of Vienna, Austria.

posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2012

By the way, 100,000 acres is 156.25 square miles.

What's a square mile? Well, if you walk 5,280 feet in one direction, then turn right ...

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

What's a square mile? Well, if you walk 5,280 feet in one direction, then turn right ...

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Mall of America "has a gross area 96.4 acres, enough to fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside."

Vatican City is 110 acres.

The memorial grounds in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in DC (between Lincoln and the Washington Monument), pictured here at the scene of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, measures 107.43 acres. (The rest of the National Mall, from the Washington Monument to the foot of the US Capitol grounds, has ~200 acres.)

posted by argonauta at 3:37 PM on August 27, 2012

Vatican City is 110 acres.

The memorial grounds in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in DC (between Lincoln and the Washington Monument), pictured here at the scene of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, measures 107.43 acres. (The rest of the National Mall, from the Washington Monument to the foot of the US Capitol grounds, has ~200 acres.)

posted by argonauta at 3:37 PM on August 27, 2012

These are maybe best thought of as distances on the side of a perfect square? Square sizes below in miles (in easy-to-grasp very rough approximations, and an assumed 3mph walking pace):

50 acres

1 mile perimeter - 1/4 mile sides - 20 minutes to walk perimeter

100 acres

1.5 mile perimeter - 1/3 mile sides - 30 minutes to walk perimeter

200 acres

2 mile perimeter - 1/2 mile sides - 40 minutes to walk perimeter

640 acres

4 mile perimeter - 1 mile sides - 1 hour 20 minutes to walk perimeter

1000 acres

5 mile perimeter - 1.25 mile sides - 1 hour 40 minutes to walk perimeter

2000 acres

7 mile perimeter - 1.75 mile sides - 2 hours 20 minutes to walk perimeter

10,000 acres

16 mile perimeter - 4 mile sides - 5 hours 20 minutes to walk perimeter

15,000 acres

20 mile perimeter - 5 mile sides - 6 hours 40 minutes to walk perimeter

20,000 acres

22 mile perimeter - 5.5 mile sides - 7 hours 30 minutes to walk perimeter

27,457.6 acres

26.2 mile perimeter - 6.5 mile sides - Amount of land enclosed by a square whose perimeter equals a marathon.

posted by maxwelton at 3:45 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

50 acres

1 mile perimeter - 1/4 mile sides - 20 minutes to walk perimeter

100 acres

1.5 mile perimeter - 1/3 mile sides - 30 minutes to walk perimeter

200 acres

2 mile perimeter - 1/2 mile sides - 40 minutes to walk perimeter

640 acres

4 mile perimeter - 1 mile sides - 1 hour 20 minutes to walk perimeter

1000 acres

5 mile perimeter - 1.25 mile sides - 1 hour 40 minutes to walk perimeter

2000 acres

7 mile perimeter - 1.75 mile sides - 2 hours 20 minutes to walk perimeter

10,000 acres

16 mile perimeter - 4 mile sides - 5 hours 20 minutes to walk perimeter

15,000 acres

20 mile perimeter - 5 mile sides - 6 hours 40 minutes to walk perimeter

20,000 acres

22 mile perimeter - 5.5 mile sides - 7 hours 30 minutes to walk perimeter

27,457.6 acres

26.2 mile perimeter - 6.5 mile sides - Amount of land enclosed by a square whose perimeter equals a marathon.

posted by maxwelton at 3:45 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

Hoboken, NJ, is known as the "Mile Square City" -- that's 640 acres.

posted by monospace at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by monospace at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2012

In west Houston the big corporation office park area unit seems real close to 100 acres. The last one I worked in was *almost exactly* 100 acres.

posted by bukvich at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by bukvich at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2012

one acre is a square about 70 yards on a side, and this gives you a rule of thumb:

if x is the number of acres, take the square root of x and multiply it by 70 yards. that's the side of the square to which your acreage is equivalent.

posted by bruce at 4:58 PM on August 27, 2012

if x is the number of acres, take the square root of x and multiply it by 70 yards. that's the side of the square to which your acreage is equivalent.

posted by bruce at 4:58 PM on August 27, 2012

Believe it or not, I have often been tasked with making the concept of acres graspable to a general audience.

It depends on your frame of reference. I tell people that a city block is about two acres, more or less. But obviously the size of a city block varies depending on which city, and even which neighborhood.

Similarly, some audiences will easily grasp the fact that a really big Walmart store will be 2-3 acres with a parking lot several times larger. According to the Sierra Club, a really big Walmart + parking lot = 18 acres.

For larger sizes, airports are a convenient measuring stick. For example, the terminal complex of the Atlanta airport is 130 acres.

The easiest way to find these facts is to Google "[really big thing] square footage acres" or "acres [really big thing]."

posted by ErikaB at 6:30 PM on August 27, 2012

It depends on your frame of reference. I tell people that a city block is about two acres, more or less. But obviously the size of a city block varies depending on which city, and even which neighborhood.

Similarly, some audiences will easily grasp the fact that a really big Walmart store will be 2-3 acres with a parking lot several times larger. According to the Sierra Club, a really big Walmart + parking lot = 18 acres.

For larger sizes, airports are a convenient measuring stick. For example, the terminal complex of the Atlanta airport is 130 acres.

The easiest way to find these facts is to Google "[really big thing] square footage acres" or "acres [really big thing]."

posted by ErikaB at 6:30 PM on August 27, 2012

Don't know how well these work as cultural touchstones, but:

Mackinac Island = ~2400 acres

Lanai (6th largest of the 8 main Hawaiian Islands) = ~89900 acres

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:07 PM on August 28, 2012

Mackinac Island = ~2400 acres

Lanai (6th largest of the 8 main Hawaiian Islands) = ~89900 acres

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:07 PM on August 28, 2012

It's about 40000 acres, by my calculations. You may have been confusing the area in km

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:07 PM on August 28, 2012

This thread is closed to new comments.

posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:04 PM on August 27, 2012