I finally got to see the Star Trek Movie. I highly recommend it. But as someone who grew up in Iowa, I have to protest its depiction of the Hawkeye State. Iowa is not flat. Central California is flat--at least the part of California used for the Iowa parts of the movie. Apparently there were mountains in Iowa in one of the movie trailers. They seem to have been digitally removed in the final cut. The gaping chasm that the young James T. Kirk nearly falls into is wrong for Iowa as well. Both the mountains and the chasm could be explained by, say, the New Madrid Fault's Big One. But not the flatness.
The real Riverside, Iowa, declared the future birthplace of James T. Kirk, appears to be an oxymoron. There's no riverside. The English River flows nearby, but not in town. It's in a very hilly area. Just down the road, on the banks of the Iowa River, is the town of Hills. Not many hills. I suspect the railroad engineers (not the ones who drove the trains, but those who plotted out the route) switched the names on the map by mistake. The rail line now runs only from Iowa City to Hills, but had once gone through Riverside as far west as Montezuma, Iowa. I have no documentation for it, but it seems the most likely reason that Riverside has no river and Hills has no hills.
Star Trek shows James T. Kirk born not in Riverside, but in space. But then the movie seems to be following the lead of Alfred Bester, whose 1958 short story, "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed," suggested that while it's possible to go back in time to change history, the change would be in an alternate reality. Perhaps that can also explain why Riverside, Iowa looks like central California.
The painting above is Grant Wood's "Stone City, Iowa," 1930 (Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska)