Close-up of NYC area: http://www.fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/nyc/
This was probably carved out by hand. However, this would be an interesting problem to solve using integer programming, a technique that has been used to model the related problem of gerrymandering.
Can this idea be further generalized? Minorities can be oppressed or powerful; strive to so intertwine motivations that minorities are eliminated.
But with some caveats. http://akkartik.name/blog/2010-01-23-21-24-35-soc
A silly generalization: At birth everyone draws a lot --- or throws a die with fifty sides --- to decide which state he will belong to.
Rio Grande State should go north with the Rio Grande and not include Arizona. That is, it should be El Paso/Las Cruces/Albuquerque/Santa Fe and up into southern Colorado. As it is, it looks like ABQ would be a border city, and that makes little sense.
Though maybe it'd make more sense to just grant Hawaii independence and sell Alaska back to the Russians or something--the whole noncontiguous territory never sat well with me anyway.
For all the trouble it would cause, I know quite a few people who wouldn't mind parting with old Baltmo' for good.
And on a totally unrelated note, sometimes Rhode Islands are used as units of area. I knew a girl in college that told me she grew up on .53 RI ranch in Texas. I had no idea what she was talking about, then she explained to me that RI = Rhode Island. I think they used a small plane to get around.