1. Education
Matt Rosenberg

The Mississippi Flowage?

By March 10, 2013

Follow me on:

The Mississippi Flowage?It would appear that Bing Maps has renamed the Mississippi River as the Mississippi Flowage. As of this writing, if you look at this map the Mighty Mississippi is labeled as the Mississippi Flowage. If you navigate on Bing Maps upstream and downstream, you'll see the "Mississippi Flowage" name repeated regularly. MapQuest correctly labels the river as the Mississippi River while on Google Maps, it's difficult to find any label whatsoever. Just for clarification, in geographic terms a flowage usually refers to a body of water purposely dammed (like a reservoir); the Mississippi River does not generally meet this definition. If you have any thoughts or information on this renaming of the Mississippi River, I'd love to hear them in the comments below! (Thanks to reader Bob for pointing this out!)


March 10, 2013 at 1:43 am
(1) Chad Shryock says:

About 15 years ago, I worked on a wastewater treatment plant expansion in Minnesota. Our plant discharged into a side channel of the Mississippi River. Minnesota rules at the time stated that any plant that discharged to a lake had to treat for phosphorus. Plants that discharged to a river did not. When we applied for our permit, the MN Department of Natural Resources refused to sign off on the permit unless we treated for phosphorus. Their reasoning? We were not discharging to the ‘Mississippi River. We were discharging to Pool 9 of the Mississippi River System. In other words, The Mississippi River was not actually a ‘river’, but a series of impoundments.

March 10, 2013 at 6:46 am
(2) Catholicgauze says:

The Board of Geographic Names does not approve Bing’s made up name for the Mississippi River.

March 11, 2013 at 9:19 am
(3) MicahWilli says:

Wait. Bing has Maps!?!
Huh. Who knew?

March 11, 2013 at 10:05 am
(4) Steve says:

Thank you for mentioning Google Maps’ lack of fluvial labeling. I use G.M. on a regular basis as I tour the country in cyber-space. You are correct, G.M. seldom puts names on rivers or streams even if there appears to be lots of cartographic space. Bing is my second choice although they are far from complete.
On a similar note, sometimes G.M. can’t locate a particular (usually rural) address. Again, Bing is my second choice, and is usually successful. Why am I so hung up with G.M…….? I’m not sure……! I need to experiment with both systems.

March 11, 2013 at 10:11 am
(5) trobsterr says:

I have found Bing has more accurate driving time estimates, and they are faster. This was truelast May when I drove back and forth across the country, and last week when I drove from Denver to Seattle.

March 11, 2013 at 10:28 am
(6) suegar says:

i was under the impression that they could gate the flow of the mississippi river. so if they can control it, i guess it would be a flowage. i thought that’s why they have so many problems with it in the spring when it overflows from the melting snow they can gate it or stop it somewhat from overflowing. sometimes they do make mistakes and underflow it and the ships have a problem getting through. is this true or is it not controlled at all? i really would like to know and who better to ask than you. thanks

March 11, 2013 at 10:36 am
(7) Kyle Souza says:

When I saw this headline I just thought they renamed it “Flowage” because of how murky and dirty the water is, quite the attractive name “Flowage” is…

March 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm
(8) Kurt says:

The Army Corp of Engineers have Misshandle in their lexicon for the river.

March 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm
(9) June Hollis says:

Well, the Weather Channel renamed the state of Mississippi so this should come as no surprise, but I refuse to use the new name!

March 22, 2013 at 2:57 am
(10) Andy says:

“Mississippi Flowage”
“Yangtze Flowage”
“Nile Flowage”
“Colorade Flowage”
“Columbia Flowage”
“Parana Flowage”
I would suggest to the Techno-Bureaucrats at Bing that they should call it “Flowage of Water”. To be more precise, what Huck Finn called the Mississippi River should be the “Mississippi Overland Flowage of Water With Less Than 500 ppm of Dissolved Salts”.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.