A million years ago, when I was a senior in college, I took a class in cartography. Remote Sensing & Image Interpretation was my major, and cartography was a requirement. In this class, we created maps, we didn't interpret them.
One of our text books was Joel Garreau's book Nine Nations of North America. The book 're-mapped' North America into nine distinct nations, and it looked like this:
(Image from Wikimedia Commons by A Max J, and licensed under the Creative Commons.)
One of our projects, as students of this class, was to create a new map of North America using parameters, data, or features that could/should create smaller nations.
My class was a creative bunch. One colleague looked back to the Civil War and regrouped our continent into subsections of Yankee/Conferderate batallions. He took each side and subdivided, evening out the number of soldiers per region. He failed this project, as his groupings did not allow for Canada to exist.
Another colleague divide North America into sections by religious affiliation. Picture 'red state v blue state' maps we see every election - but she threw in other tones and hues (mauve, pomegranate, violet...) and cataloged religious values. Hmmm.
I discovered this exercise brought out the socialist in me. I wanted everyone to be equal trade zones. I regrouped North America by commodity zones. Each zone/section had to have balance of trade with another zone/section. Everyone had to live in trading harmony. This was a tough task - the research alone gave me headache and wore my number crunching brain to collapse. But I achieved trade of balance among my seventeen small nations. HURRAH! And I announced that nations could still blossom or gain monies by marketing non-commodity 'things'. Like tourist trade. Or transportation systems. I was only socialist when it came to balance of trade.
Well, now I have grown up. The country will (probably) never subdivide into 9 nations or 17 trade zones. But we still have regions of distinction. And we like to look for those patterns - those regionalisms that unite a couple states or zones or just the citizens.
And this is pattern I have seen in "The Foundry" (now better known as the Rust Belt?).
Every town has a tavern, a bar, a saloon.
And each one has a name.
And it sure is fun to stop in for a burger and a brew.