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New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana, a state which is shaped like a boot with the bottom of the boot and its toes in the Gulf of Mexico. In Louisiana, counties are called parishes. New Orleans takes up all of Orleans Parish and is located in the toe of the boot. In this map of Louisiana, Orleans Parish is red. The big, roughly circular shape above Orleans Parish is not another parish. It is Lake Pontchartrain. This map does not show the Mississippi River.  The river forms the eastern border of Louisiana down to the 31st parallel where it cuts through the toe of the boot, emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at the tip of the longest finger of land extending into the sea.





This map zooms in. The large pink area is New Orleans. It shows how New Orleans is squeezed between Lake Pontchartrain on the north and the Mississippi River on the south. Upriver is Jefferson Parish and downriver are St. Bernard Parish and Plaquemines Parish.




This map zooms in even more. The areas dotted with gray triangles show the wetlands, swamps and marshes, surrounding the City.