Fore River (Massachusetts)
Weymouth Fore River is a small bay or estuary in eastern Massachusetts and is part of the Massachusetts Bay watershed. The headwater of Weymouth Fore River is formed by the confluence of the Monatiquot River and Smelt Brook in the Weymouth Landing area of Braintree. From Weymouth Landing, the tidal river marks the boundary between Braintree and Weymouth, flowing northeast for 0.5 miles and north for 0.5 miles before widening and turning west northwest for 0.7 miles. At this point the river's western shore is now in Quincy at the south end of the former Fore River Shipyard. Here the river turns north northeast for 1.0 mile as it passes through a industrialized area around the former shipyard and is crossed by the Fore River Bridge, a lift bridge which carries Massachusetts Route 3A between Quincy and Weymouth. A quarter mile beyond the bridge Weymouth Fore River is joined by Town River at Germantown widening to nearly 1 mile as it travels the final 2.0 miles northeast before ending as it enters Hingham Bay.
Recreation along Weymouth Fore River includes Smith Beach/Watson Park in East Braintree along the northwest shore near Weymouth Landing at the river's south end and Wessagussett Beach on the southeast shore in North Weymouth before the river enters Hingham Bay. The United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum located in Quincy Point at the west end of the Fore River Bridge features USS Salem, a preserved heavy cruiser, open to the public; the major commercial enterprises located in the industrialized area around the former shipyard include: Braintree Citgo Petroleum Corporation, major oil and gasoline distribution terminal Quincy Daniel J. Quirk, Inc. motor vehicle storage and distribution facility Jay Cashman, Inc. heavy construction and marine equipment services Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, sewage sludge heat-drying and pelletizing facility Quincy Bay Terminal Company, short line freight rail service to CSXT South Braintree Twin Rivers Technologies LP, oleochemical and biofuel production Weymouth Exelon Corporation Fore River Generating Station, natural gas and oil electricity generation
In modern mapping, a topographic map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief using contour lines, but using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both man-made features. A topographic survey is published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A contour line is a line connecting places of equal elevation. Natural Resources Canada provides this description of topographic maps:These maps depict in detail ground relief, forest cover, administrative areas, populated areas, transportation routes and facilities, other man-made features. Other authors define topographic maps by contrasting them with another type of map. However, in the vernacular and day to day world, the representation of relief is popularly held to define the genre, such that small-scale maps showing relief are called "topographic"; the study or discipline of topography is a much broader field of study, which takes into account all natural and man-made features of terrain.
Topographic maps are based on topographical surveys. Performed at large scales, these surveys are called topographical in the old sense of topography, showing a variety of elevations and landforms; this is in contrast to older cadastral surveys, which show property and governmental boundaries. The first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789; the Great Trigonometric Survey of India, started by the East India Company in 1802 taken over by the British Raj after 1857 was notable as a successful effort on a larger scale and for determining heights of Himalayan peaks from viewpoints over one hundred miles distant. Topographic surveys were prepared by the military to assist in planning for battle and for defensive emplacements; as such, elevation information was of vital importance. As they evolved, topographic map series became a national resource in modern nations in planning infrastructure and resource exploitation. In the United States, the national map-making function, shared by both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior migrated to the newly created United States Geological Survey in 1879, where it has remained since.1913 saw the beginning of the International Map of the World initiative, which set out to map all of Earth's significant land areas at a scale of 1:1 million, on about one thousand sheets, each covering four degrees latitude by six or more degrees longitude.
Excluding borders, each sheet was up to 66 cm wide. Although the project foundered, it left an indexing system that remains in use. By the 1980s, centralized printing of standardized topographic maps began to be superseded by databases of coordinates that could be used on computers by moderately skilled end users to view or print maps with arbitrary contents and scale. For example, the Federal government of the United States' TIGER initiative compiled interlinked databases of federal and local political borders and census enumeration areas, of roadways and water features with support for locating street addresses within street segments. TIGER was used in the 1990 and subsequent decennial censuses. Digital elevation models were compiled from topographic maps and stereographic interpretation of aerial photographs and from satellite photography and radar data. Since all these were government projects funded with taxes and not classified for national security reasons, the datasets were in the public domain and usable without fees or licensing.
TIGER and DEM datasets facilitated Geographic information systems and made the Global Positioning System much more useful by providing context around locations given by the technology as coordinates. Initial applications were professionalized forms such as innovative surveying instruments and agency-level GIS systems tended by experts. By the mid-1990s user-friendly resources such as online mapping in two and three dimensions, integration of GPS with mobile phones and automotive navigation systems appeared; as of 2011, the future of standardized, centrally printed topographical maps is left somewhat in doubt. Topographic maps have multiple uses in the present day: any type of geographic planning or large-scale architecture; the various features shown on the map are represented by conventional symbols. For example, colors can be used to indicate a classification of roads; these signs are explained in the margin of the map, or on a separately published characteristic sheet. Topographic maps are commonly called contour maps or topo maps.
In the United States, where the primary national series is organized by a strict 7.5-minute grid, they are called topo quads or quadrangles. Topographic maps conventionally show land contours, by means of contour lines. Contour lines are curves. In other words, every point on the marked line of 100 m elevation is 100 m above mean sea level; these maps show
Massachusetts the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, New York to the west; the state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history and industry. Dependent on agriculture and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, higher education and maritime trade. Plymouth was the site of the second colony in New England after Popham Colony in 1607 in what is now Maine.
Plymouth was founded in 1620 by passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic World, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution; the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts has played a powerful commercial and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements.
In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U. S. state to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, Harvard Law School has educated a contemporaneous majority of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, have been ranked among the most regarded academic institutions in the world.
Massachusetts' public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance, the state has been ranked as one of the top states in the United States for citizens to live in, as well as one of the most expensive. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett derived from a Wôpanâak word muswach8sut, segmented as mus "big" + wach8 "mountain" + -s "diminutive" + -ut "locative", it has been translated as "near the great hill", "by the blue hills", "at the little big hill", or "at the range of hills", referring to the Blue Hills, or in particular the Great Blue Hill, located on the boundary of Milton and Canton. Alternatively, Massachusett has been represented as Moswetuset—from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock in Quincy, where Plymouth Colony commander Myles Standish, hired English military officer, Squanto, part of the now disappeared Patuxet band of the Wampanoag peoples, met Chief Chickatawbut in 1621; the official name of the state is the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts".
While this designation is part of the state's official name, it has no practical implications. Massachusetts has powers within the United States as other states, it may have been chosen by John Adams for the second draft of the Massachusetts Constitution because unlike the word "state", "commonwealth" at the time had the connotation of a republic, in contrast to the monarchy the former American colonies were fighting against. Massachusetts was inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian language family such as the Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc and Massachusett. While cultivation of crops like squash and corn supplemented their diets, these tribes were dependent on hunting and fishing for most of their food. Villages consisted of lodges called wigwams as well as longhouses, tribes were led by male or female elders known as sachems. In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous peoples in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles and leptospirosis.
Between 1617 and 1619, smallpox killed ap
Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory
The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory known as Great Blue Hill Weather Observatory, Blue Hill Weather Observatory, or the Blue Hill Observatory, in Milton, Massachusetts is the foremost structure associated with the history of weather observations in the United States. Located atop Great Blue Hill at the junction of Interstate 93 and Route 138 about 10 miles south of Boston, Massachusetts, it is home to the oldest continuous weather record in North America, was the location of the earliest kite soundings of the atmosphere in North America in the 1890s, as well as the development of the radiosonde in the 1930s. Founded by Abbott Lawrence Rotch in 1884, the observatory took a leading role in the newly emerging science of meteorology and was the scene of many of the first scientific measurements of upper atmosphere weather conditions, using kites to carry weather instruments aloft. Knowledge of wind velocities, air temperature and relative humidity at various levels came into use as vital elements in weather prediction due to techniques developed at this site.
By 1895 the observatory was the source of weather forecasts of remarkable accuracy. On October 8, 1896, a record of 8740 feet was achieved for a weather kite. During the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, the observatory measured the strongest wind gust directly measured and recorded in a hurricane at 186 mph; the observatory remains active to this day, continuing to add to its data base of weather observations now more than one hundred years old, stands as a monument to the science of meteorology in the United States. The observatory is open to the public on weekends; the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory was founded by American meteorologist Abbott Lawrence Rotch in 1884. By the time he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1884, Rotch had conceived and carried into execution his plans for the erection of a meteorological observatory on the summit of the Great Blue Hill, ten miles south of Boston, Massachusetts in the Blue Hills Reservation, a 6,000-acre public park managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Rotch chose the site because the elevation of 635 feet was the highest point within ten miles of the Atlantic Ocean, on the East Coast south of central Maine. The Observatory was founded as a weather research facility; this location afforded early weather scientists a unique opportunity for recording extremes of weather and experimenting with weather-recording instruments. The observatory building was completed by the end of 1884 and the first regular observations were begun on February 1, 1885. Rotch became the first director of the observatory and maintained it at his own expense until his death in 1912 when he bequeathed it to Harvard University with an endowment of $50,000. Construction of the observatory was started by Rotch in 1884 using his own private funds, designed by architects Rotch & Tilden; the original structure consisted of a two-story circular tower and an adjoining housing unit which contained two bedrooms, a dining room and a kitchen. In 1889, a two-story east wing was added to provide additional working space for research, domestic chores, the library.
In 1902, a two-story west wing containing a new library was added to provide additional work space. A steel fire door and brick wall connect the library to the earlier masonry structure. A timbrel vault of cohesive tiles spans the library; the timbrel vault tile roof is believed to have been installed by the Guastavino Company using an tenacious mortar developed by Rafael Guastavino, the founder of the firm. Native stone, gathered from the summit of the Great Blue Hill, was used for the two-story tower, adjoining housing unit, the east and west wings. Copper sheathing was used for roofing. A stone wall and iron fence were erected in 1905 to provide security for the building and instruments and privacy for the staff; the original stone tower proved to be unsuitable. Wind-driven rain penetrated its walls, damaging the records. Vibration from the instruments on masts atop the tower contributed to the structural problems. In 1908, the original tower was demolished and a new reinforced three-story late Gothic Revival concrete tower, 20 feet 6 inches wide and 32 feet 8 inches high was constructed in its place.
The concrete construction of the tower was chosen to provide the maximum amount of stability and durability in the event of high winds. The tower has a cornice containing dentils; the windows are double-hung sash with a shallow recessed arch over the windows on the first and second floors. The new tower provided the durable weather-resistant, vibration-free environment necessary for accurate instrument readings; the first floor of the tower contains the director's office. The weather bureau is on the second floor and a laboratory and access to the roof are found on the third floor. Various wind gauges and other meteorological recording instruments are attached to the roof of the tower; the observatory still retains barometers and other instrumentation dating from the late 19th century. These instruments are used to calibrate the modern instrumentation to preserve the accuracy and integrity of the data base dating back to 1885. In 1962, a metal tower containing a siderostat for collecting the sun's rays and directing them by mirrors to an optical bench inside the observatory, was erected adjacent to the west wing for studies related to the upper atmosphere.
This project was abandoned after a few years. This tower, with its mirrors still present, is no longer in use; the observatory has been neglected for a number of years. Although the structure is w
Needham is a town in Norfolk County, United States. A suburb of Boston, its population was 28,886 at the 2010 census, it is home to an engineering school. Needham was first settled in 1680 with the purchase of a tract of land measuring 4 miles by 5 miles from Chief Nehoiden for the sum of 10 pounds, 40 acres of land, 40 shillings worth of corn, it was incorporated in 1711. Part of the Dedham Grant, Needham split from Dedham and was named after the town of Needham Market in Suffolk, England. By the 1770s settlers in the western part of the town who had to travel a long distance to the meeting house on what is now Central Avenue sought to form a second parish in the town. Opposition to this desire created conflict, in 1774 a mysterious fire destroyed the extant meeting house; some time afterwards. In 1857 the City of Boston began a project to fill in the Back Bay with landfill by filling the tidewater flats of the Charles River; the fill to reclaim the bay from the water was obtained from Needham, Massachusetts from the area of present-day Route 128.
The firm of Goss and Munson, railroad contractors, built 6 miles of railroad from Needham and their 35-car trains made 16 trips a day to Back Bay. The filling of present-day Back Bay was completed by 1882; the project was the largest of a number of land reclamation projects, beginning in 1820, over the course of time, more than doubled the size of the original Boston peninsula. In 1865, William Carter established a knitting mill company in Needham Heights that would become a major manufacturer and leading brand of children's apparel in the United States; the site of Mill #1 houses the Avery Manor assisted living center, while Mill #2 stood along the shores of Rosemary Lake. By the 1960s, the company owned seven mills in the south; the Carter family sold the business in 1990, after which Carter's, Inc. moved its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia. In the late 1860s William Emerson Baker moved to Needham. A notably wealthy man due to his having improved the mechanical sewing machine, Baker assembled a parcel of land exceeding 800 acres and named it Ridge Hill Farm.
He built two man made lakes including Sabrina lake near present-day Locust Lane. Baker turned part of his property into an amusement park with exotic animals, subterranean tunnels, trick floors and mirrors. In 1888 he built a sizable hotel, near the intersection of present-day Whitman Road and Charles River Street, called the Hotel Wellesley which had a capacity of over 300 guests; the hotel burned to the ground on December 19, 1891. In 1891, George Walker, Boston owner of a lithograph company, Gustavos Gordon, formed Walker-Gordon Laboratories to develop processes for the prevention of contamination of milk and to answer the call by enlightened physicians for better babies' milk formulas; this plant was located in the Charles River Village section of Needham with another large facility in New Jersey. The scientific dairy production facilities of the Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm were advertised and utilized modern advancements in the handling of milk products. In 1881 the West Parish was separately incorporated as the town of Wellesley.
The following year and Wellesley high schools began playing an annual football game on Thanksgiving, now the second-longest running high school football rivalry in the United States. The longest running public high school rivalry. In 2013 Wellesley broke a 3-year Thanksgiving game losing streak to the Needham Rockets, defeating them 22-6; the Wellesley Raiders now hold a 60-57-9 advantage in the historic rivalry. With the loss of the West Parish to Wellesley, the town lost its town hall and plans to build a new one began in 1902 with the selection of a building committee; the cornerstone was laid by the Grand Lodge of Masons on September 2, 1902 and the building was dedicated on December 22, 1903. The total cost for the hall was $57,500 including furnishings; because it was located on the town common, the cost did not include land. In 2011, the town hall was extensively expanded. In the process, the second-floor meeting hall was restored to its original beauty. Needham's population grew by over 50 percent during the 1930s.
In 2005, Needham became the first city in the United States to raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 12.7 square miles, of which 12.6 square miles is land and 0.1 square mile is water. Needham's area is in the shape of an acute, northward-pointing triangle; the Charles River forms nearly all of the southern and northeastern boundaries, the town line with Wellesley forming the third, northwestern one. In addition to Wellesley on the northwest, Needham borders Newton and the West Roxbury section of Boston on the northeast, Dover and Dedham on the south; the majority of Cutler Park is in Needham and is located along the Charles River and the border with Newton and West Roxbury. Needham is elevated at sea level, but is a hilly town; as of the census of 2010, there were 28,886 people, 10,341 households, 7,792 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,292.7 people per square mile. There were 10,846 housing units at an average density of 860.1 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the town was 92.3% White, 1.4% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.1% Asian, 0.6% from other races, 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any
The timber rattlesnake, canebrake rattlesnake or banded rattlesnake, is a species of venomous pit viper endemic to the eastern United States. This is the only rattlesnake species in most of the populous northeastern United States and is second only to its cousins to the west, the prairie rattlesnake, as the most northerly distributed venomous snake in North America. No subspecies are recognized; the timber rattlesnake was one of the many reptile species described by Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his Systema Naturae, still bears its original name Crotalus horridus. The subspecies C. h. atricaudatus referred to as the canebrake rattlesnake, is considered invalid. It was recognized by Gloyd and Klauber. Based on an analysis of geographic variation, Pisani et al. concluded no subspecies should be recognized. This was followed by Collins and Knight. Brown and Ernst found evidence for retaining the two subspecies, but state it is not possible to tell them apart without having more information than usual, including adult size, color pattern, the number of dorsal scale rows and the number of ventral scales.
Dundee and Rossman recognized C. h. atricaudatus. Adults grow to total length of 91–152 cm, it was found in Pennsylvania that the smallest size females that could produce viable eggs was 72.2 cm. Most adult timber rattlesnakes found measure less than 100 to 115 cm in total length and weigh on average between 500 and 1,500 g being towards the lower end of that weight range; the maximum reported total length is 189.2 cm. Holt mentions a large specimen caught in Montgomery County, which had a total length of 159 cm and weighed 2.5 kg. Large specimens can weigh as much as 4.5 kg. The dorsal scales are arranged in 21 -- 26 scale rows at midbody; the ventral scales number 158-177 in males and 163–183 in females. Males have 20–30 subcaudal scales, while females have 15–26; the rostral scale is a little higher than it is wide. In the internasal-prefrontal area there are 4–22 scales that include 2 large, triangular internasal scales that border the rostral, followed by 2 large, quadrangular prefrontal scales that may contact each other along the midline, or may be separated by many small scales.
Between the supraocular and internasal, only a single canthal scale is present. There are 5–7 intersupraocular scales; the number of prefoveal scales varies between 2 and 8. The first supralabial scale is in broad contact with the prenasal scale, although to moderately separated along its posteroventral margin by the most anterior prefoveals. Dorsally, they have a pattern of dark brown or black crossbands on a yellowish brown or grayish background; the crossbands have irregular zig-zag edges, may be V-shaped or M-shaped. A rust-colored vertebral stripe is present. Ventrally they are uniform or marked with black. Melanism is common, some individuals are dark solid black. Found in the eastern United States from southern Minnesota and southern New Hampshire, south to east Texas and north Florida. One hundred and fifteen rattlesnakes have been marked within Brown County State Park in Indiana, one of the only places where they can be found in the state, its historic range includes southern Ontario and southern Quebec in Canada, but in May 2001, the Canadian Species at Risk Act listed it as extirpated in Canada.
A Canadian government sponsored recovery strategy is under study to support the reintroducing of this predator of many pests to its former Canadian habitat. Although several experts disagree, many were found in some of the thick forest areas of central and southeastern Iowa within the Mississippi, Skunk and Des Moines River valleys, in several places in these areas. In Pennsylvania, it is not found west of Chestnut Ridge, in the Laurel Highlands, nor is it found in the southeastern corner of the state. Thus, its range does not include the areas of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the two largest cities in Pennsylvania. C. Horridus is extirpated in Maine and Rhode Island and is extirpated in New Hampshire. In Massachusetts, the snakes are active from mid-May to mid-October. Early settlers were afraid of the snake. Since that time their habitat has been reduced to the Blue Hills south of Boston, The Berkshires in Western Massachusetts as well as parts of the Connecticut River Valley, notably in the area of the Holyoke Range.
The snake is so rare in the state that it is encountered by people and is considered endangered, making it illegal to harass, collect, or possess. This species is found in deciduous forests in rugged terrain. During the summer, gravid females seem to prefer open, rocky ledges where the temperatures are higher, while males and nongravid females tend to spend more time in cooler, denser woodland with more closed forest canopy. Female timber rattlers bask in the sun before giving birth, in open rocky areas known as "basking knolls". During the winter, timber rattlesnakes brumate in dens, in limestone crevices together with copperheads and black rat
Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England encompassing the municipality of Boston, the capital of the U. S. state of Massachusetts, the most populous city in New England, as well as its surrounding areas. The region forms the northern arc of the US northeast megalopolis and as such, Greater Boston can be described either as a metropolitan statistical area, or as a broader combined statistical area; the MSA consists of most of the eastern third of Massachusetts, excluding the South Coast region and Cape Cod. While the small footprint of the city of Boston itself only contains an estimated 685,094, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas; some of Greater Boston's most well-known contributions involve the region's higher education and medical institutions. Greater Boston has been influential upon American industry; the region and the state of Massachusetts are global leaders in biotechnology, higher education and maritime trade. Over 80% of Massachusetts' population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan region.
Greater Boston is ranked tenth in population among US metropolitan statistical areas, home to 4,732,161 people as of the 2014 US Census estimate, sixth among combined statistical areas, with a population of 8,099,575. The area has hosted many people and sites significant to American culture and history American literature and the American Revolution. Plymouth was the site of the first colony in New England, founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution; the Greater Boston region has played a powerful commercial and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, the region was a center for the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.
S. state to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Boston. Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the Boston region, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, whose Law School has spawned a contemporaneous majority of United States Supreme Court Justices. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, have been ranked among the most regarded academic institutions in the world; the most restrictive definition of the Greater Boston area is the region administered by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
The MAPC is a regional planning organization created by the Massachusetts legislature to oversee transportation infrastructure and economic development concerns in the Boston area. The MAPC includes 101 towns that are grouped into eight subregions; these include most of the area within the region's outer circumferential highway, I-495. In 2013, the population of the MAPC district was 3.2 million, 48% of the total population of Massachusetts, in an area of 1,422 square miles, of which 39% is forested and an additional 11% is water, wetland, or other open space. The eight subregions and their principal towns are: Inner Core, MetroWest, North Shore, North Suburban, South Shore, SouthWest, Three Rivers. Notably excluded from the MAPC and its partner planning body, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, are the Merrimack Valley cities of Lowell and Haverhill, much of Plymouth County, all of Bristol County. Bristol County is part of the Greater Boston CSA, as part of the Providence MSA.
The urbanized area surrounding Boston serves as the core of a definition used by the US Census Bureau known as the New England city and town area. The set of towns containing the core urbanized area plus surrounding towns with strong social and economic ties to the core area is defined as the Boston–Cambridge–Nashua, MA–NH Metropolitan NECTA; the Boston NECTA is further subdivided into several NECTA divisions. The Boston and Peabody NECTA divisions together correspond to the MAPC area; the total population of the Boston NECTA was 4,540,941. Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA NECTA Division Framingham, MA NECTA Division Peabody–Salem–Beverly, MA NECTA Division Brockton–Bridgewater–Easton, MA NECTA Division Haverhill–Newburyport–Amesbury, MA–NH NECTA Division Lawrence–Methuen–Salem, MA–NH NECTA Division (part of Merrimack V