Tag Archives: color-coded maps
On the first day of the holiday, Esri gives to you…A map showing the potential for buying children’s toys and games.
Welcome to Esri’s Twelve Days of Holiday Maps!
Short on gift ideas? Or, curious about where the biggest demand for typical holiday purchases is across the U.S.? Over the next twelve business days, we’ll show you the areas where demand is highest for the season’s most popular presents.
This map of the U.S. by county was created using Esri’s Market Potential data for children’s toy or game purchases over the last twelve months. For more information about Esri Data, please visit http://www.esri.com/data/esri_data/index.html
Happy Holidays from Esri!
By Catherine Spisszak
by Sooria J
Preferences is a section in Business Analyst Online which, in my opinion, is a “treasure”. It provides shortcuts to make your life easier. Let’s review them one by one.
This section gives you options to set the default tab to open when the app loads initially. If you are a user who is more concerned with getting reports, you can set this up and save an extra click (it adds up you know!) so the application opens to the Get Reports tab every time. The same can be done for other sections too.
This section is for setting up your study areas. If you always work on a particular area such as a city or county, you can set it here. When you open the Select Location or Research Market tab, the map will be automatically zoomed in to your favorite location and ready to go. In the second section of this page, you can set the default values for the rings, drive times and donuts. Also the fill and border color for each type of study area can be set here. By setting these, anytime you create a site your sites will have the colors you chose. Remember you can always click on the Restore Defaults button to restore the default settings.
All your needs for a color coded map can be set here. You can pick from the wide range of our beautiful color ranges, transparency setting, methods, border thickness and color.
Inserting your own logo is important to you and we understand that. So there is functionality to allow you to upload multiple logos and use them in reports and maps. The preview of the logo is shown and gives you an idea of the size of that the logo will be in the report.
This section lets you pick the report default format, either PDF or Excel. You can also choose to receive an email of the reports you have run by selecting this option and inserting your email address. Ability to send copies to colleagues and clients can be done using the CC field. You can also add a subtitle to the reports here too.
I have provided details about Favorites in my blog post titled Favorites is my Favorite. Managing your favorite reports list can be done here. You can add, delete or change the order in which the reports are run in the favorite reports.
Let us know your thoughts on these feature and any other shortcuts you would like to have added.
by David Palomino
Business Analyst 10 provides two default MXDs as a gateway into the application: Business Analyst.mxd and Business Analyst Web.mxd. However, we have expanded on Business Analyst.mxd to create a third MXD, Business Analyst Maplex.mxd. This is a cartographically enhanced MXD available for download here. Continue reading
by Brenda Wolfe
The new ability to map Market Potential data in Business Analyst Online is leading to some new revelations. I have always considered myself to be a romantic Montanan, but now there is proof that Montanans are, by their very nature, romantic.
Business Analyst Online now lets you map just about anything, including the percentage of the population that has purchased romance novels in the past year…
The center of the country appears to be where buyers of romance novels are concentrated. I suppose, to be fair, one could argue that other parts of the country are just as romantic–they just exhibit their romantic inclinations differently. I will leave you to your own theories on this, but I am sticking to Montana as Romance Central.
by David Palomino
This article is the second in a series “Cartographic Design and Optimization Methods for Business Analyst”. Click HERE to read the first article.
It was a cozy winter evening in 2008. Mellow conversations in French, German, Spanish, and Italian could be heard in the background, and the chalet fireplace matched the warmth I was already feeling – that content feeling you get after two full weeks of skiing your heart out in the French Alps – when a mysterious “stranger” approached with an audio message from the top. The message was simple and direct: “You’re mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the Business Analyst MXD look better and perform faster.” Okay, so perhaps it wasn’t that dramatic and maybe I fudged the details of this otherwise true story a little. Nevertheless, this was an exciting and challenging endeavor set before me, and I accepted with alacrity.
BA 9.2. and 9.3
The Business Analyst Desktop product for 9.2 and 9.3 were very good. But the product needed a face-lift so to speak and needed to get in shape. Some of the cartographic designs were out of date, and draw speeds were at times pretty slow.
Mission “Business Analyst 9.3.1” (Code name BA931)
Hence, the new assignment. Upon diving into this endeavor, I was quickly introduced to Cartographers Tim Daley and Corey Lamar in Redlands, and these two were a great resource and helped with cartographic design ideas and suggestions. (Anyone with a cartographic background reading this knows that projects are rarely if ever a one-person thing.) Soon, the design was looking good, but what to do about the draw speed? Corey and Tim suggested simplifying queries for labeling (more on that shortly) among other things. To drill down more, I needed to test and diagnose refresh draw-speeds, find out where the problem layers were, and analyze this for multiple scales and datasets. In addition, this needed to be done comparing 9.3 with the emerging 9.3.1 product. How to do this? Well, there is the old “stopwatch” method, where you sit at a computer and record each draw time. But this is cumbersome and time-consuming, and is not the level of quantitative analysis we needed.
Fortunately, a tool that addresses exactly this was already created! Andrew Sakowicz from the Enterprise Implementation Services Team created the “MXDPerfStat” tool. (This is an ArcScript tool which can be downloaded for free HERE.)
One of the really cool things about this tool is that you can identify specific problems with layers and labeling, and at which scales these problems occur. It even gives general recommendations for editing layers and labels for better results.
Initial edits were made, but there were still problems. One issue was simple labeling of features were not feasible because of the way certain datasets were built.
For example, in order to properly label streets (e.g. “West 1st Street” as opposed to just “1st”), complex queries were required because several parts of the street names were in different fields. With this scenario, the label query would have to read à [Dir]&” “&[Street Name]&” “&[Type]&” “&[Dir2]. As you can imagine, labeling hundreds of thousands of streets this way for each refresh bogged down processing and slowed the redraw speed considerably. Either that, or you would be stuck with incomplete street names, as was the case in Business Analyst 9.2 and 9.3.
Therefore, these fields had to be combined into one field. The easiest way to do this was to convert the existing dataset, which was in SDC format, into a File Geodatabase (FGDB). (This conversion not only aided in consolidating the pertinent fields, but converting to FGDB also decreased the size of the datasets themselves.)
In addition, street layers shouldn’t be labeled all at once, but must be scale dependent by type of street. For example, interstates can be drawn at most scales, but alleys and small roads (which are more numerous) should only be drawn at larger (zoomed in) scales. An example of a query that targets larger streets might look like this à “FCC” LIKE ‘B1%’ OR “FCC” LIKE ‘B2%’. Ugh, more complex queries!!! Therefore, layers like streets were simplified down to their parts by “street type” for easier scale-dependent display. Also, the 9.2 and 9.3 versions were labeling non-streets (alleys, driveways, etc.) further slowing speed. Combining the component name fields and excluding the non-street names from the street name field during the FGDB conversion noticeably sped up the refresh draw times.
Finally, the Table of Contents folder structure was simplified for better organization and intuitive ease of use.
These are just a few of the optimization methods that were employed for the 9.3.1 product release, but the basic results were faster draw-times, a better look, and a more organized folder structure.
The Speed – Quantitative Results
The results of the draw-time speeds showed an overall 77% increase in draw speed!
The Look – Qualitative Results
Business Analyst 9.3.1 was created with a more modern design and cartographically better look. Here are a few “Before and After” screenshots. (For a more complete slideshow of before and after shots, please click HERE.)
The mission for 9.3.1. is accomplished. These edits and changes had the input from almost everyone on the Business Analyst team, and we are working ever more on the future Business Analyst Products to make them even faster, easier, and better looking than before. However, we rely not only on the input from within ESRI, but we rely especially on input from users like you. We look forward to hearing from you and serving you to make our products easier, faster, and better. We really appreciate you and your input.
Please stay tuned for the next in this series “Cartographic Design and Optimization Methods for Business Analyst” as we look into map projections, how they work, and how best to work with them.
by Brenda Wolfe
Business Analyst Online was updated this week with some exciting new features.
Here’s what’s new…
Smart Map Search (For Premium Subscribers only)
Smart Map Search was designed to reduce the time it takes to find locations that meet your particular needs. Select up to five demographic, consumer or business metrics, such as per capita income greater than $40,000 and median age greater than 35, and Smart Map Search will identify areas on the map that meet all of your criteria at once.
The Smart Map Results table shows you in more detail how the geographical areas compare for the individual criteria you have selected. You can export the table to Excel for further analysis.
Smart Map Search criteria lists can be saved and reused to save you even more time in the future when you are evaluating a market area.
Custom PDF Maps
In addition to the standard Site Maps that you can order, it is now possible to create your own custom PDF maps based on the map you are viewing within Business Analyst Online.
- Color-coded maps for any of the thousands of demographic, consumer and business variables available with your subscription
- Smart Map Search results
- BingTM business search results
- Geographic boundaries and labels
- Multiple sites in one map view
Once you create the map on screen that you want to print or share, click the PDF button on the Map Tool Palette to provide a title and subtitle for your map and select layout options.
Updated Demographic Data in the Demographic and Income Reports
Updated 2010/2015 data are now available in the Demographic and Income Report. The remaining demographic reports will be updated at the end of June.
In addition, a new report style is available for the Demographic and Income Report.
Color-Coded Maps of Really Cool Data!
Visualizing market potential, consumer spending, and supply and demand dynamics is now possible. Thousands of new variables have been added for color-coded mapping in three categories:
- Market Potential measures the probable demand for a product or service. More than 2,200 items are updated annually and grouped into 16 categories of goods, services, and attitudes.
- Consumer Spending averages and indices for several spending categories now make it possible to visually compare and rank geographic areas against one another.
- Retail MarketPlace measures supply and demand and the supply/demand gap can now be mapped in order to illustrate where consumers’ needs are being met or where there might be new market opportunities.
Geographic Boundaries and Labels Geographic boundaries and labels are available from the My Layers drop-down. The boundaries and labels and be turned on/off independently. The boundaries and labels can be placed over any map, including color-coded maps. New Maps New maps are available for the Streets, Satellite and Topographic maps. The maps are designed to make ring sites appear rounder on the map instead of elliptical. States and other geographies in northern latitudes appear less horizontally stretched. A new Topographic map with an updated design and detailed information is now available as another viewing option in addition to the Streets map. Cheers, Brenda
Geographic Boundaries and Labels
Geographic boundaries and labels are available from the My Layers drop-down. The boundaries and labels and be turned on/off independently. The boundaries and labels can be placed over any map, including color-coded maps.
New maps are available for the Streets, Satellite and Topographic maps. The maps are designed to make ring sites appear rounder on the map instead of elliptical. States and other geographies in northern latitudes appear less horizontally stretched.
A new Topographic map with an updated design and detailed information is now available as another viewing option in addition to the Streets map.
by Sooria J
Business Analyst Online is getting smarter, which will help our users make smarter decisions with smarter intelligence. You must be wondering why am I “smarting” so much. Here’s why.
How many times have you wondered…
- I really like the color-coded maps with one variable. How cool would it be if I could get an interaction of multiple variables?
- My client provides a specific set of criteria for each variable (age, income, population, etc.) with the specific range they are looking for. They are ONLY interested in areas that fall into their criteria. Do I need to spend time analyzing each variable one by one and filter out the areas that meet their criteria?
- It would really save time if I could save multiple sets of criteria for each of my clients and provide them with a list of geographies that match their criteria based on their need at that moment, can I do this in less than five minutes?
If you are among the crowd who “wondered” about these questions, while using Business Analyst Online, your prayers are truly answered folks.
In the upcoming release of Business Analyst Online, we are adding a brand new feature which allows the user make all the smart moves mentioned above, aptly this feature is called “Smart Map Search”. You will be able to pick multiple variables from our hundreds and hundreds of variables, set a definite range for each of the variables and view the results (geographies) that match your criteria. Oh yea, you can also save the criteria list so that you don’t have to hunt for the variables of your (or your client’s) choice each time. Also note that you can export the results into an Excel file and use it for further analysis.
Don’t you agree that Business Analyst Online is getting smarter? Watch for my next post for more details with actual screenshots about this feature…
A Brief Overview of Cartography – The First Article in a Series on Cartographic Design and Optimization Methods for the Business Analyst Products
by David Palomino
The following is a brief introduction to cartographic concepts, many of which you may be familiar with. The purpose of this first article in a series on cartography is to bring these concepts to the forefront for those who have a very limited exposure to GIS and cartographic methods.
One of the main roles I play at ESRI is that I am the guy who gets to update, design, and optimize the Business Analyst MXD each year. Not only does this add value to the BA Products, but it’s really fun to do. Because I don’t want to keep all of the fun to myself, I am setting out to write a short series on Cartographic Design and Optimization Methods, and to show how this adds to the overall quality of our Business Analyst Products. The first entry in this series covers a brief introduction to Cartography.
Cartography is Art
Cartography is an art. This is apparent, as there are many colors or shades, hues, and line thicknesses just as there are these elements in many paintings. As is the case with art, cartography also has psychological and social aspects to it. Depending on your level of involvement and experience with GIS, interactive cartography is also exploratory. You may be asking: How is cartography “social”? What is meant by “exploratory” cartography? Let’s dive in and take a look.
We view colors, shades, and hues not just to identify colors and shades, but to see meaning and interpret our world. For example, if you’re viewing a lake from the air, you may notice that some parts of it are light-blue, while other sections are dark-blue. You would perceive that the lighter areas are relatively shallow while the darker waters are deep.
Figure 1 illustrates this point. Most people will view the circle on the right as “popping out”, the left circle as somewhat neutral, and the black circle as a “hole” in the backdrop. Also, it’s common to perceive the red circle as slightly bigger (if the object is closer, it must be bigger too), when, in fact, all of the circles are the same size.
Our brains also interpret certain colors to represent natural features. For example, blue lines or blue polygons are easily interpreted as bodies of water; whereas a gray line may be interpreted as a road.
There are social constructs to cartography as well with the use of color. A Red-Yellow-Green color scheme often is used to depict high density, such as Population Density, with red being the high density spot. Because red is considered a warm or “hot” color, we use the term “hot spot” or “heat maps” to communicate locations for optimal sites to put new stores, locations of endangered species sightings, or areas of low and high crimes rates. However, when it came to monetary type demographic data, such as Median Household Income, Median Home Value, etc. the Red-Yellow-Green color scheme would not do. Since the color of money in the United States is green, I changed the color scheme to White-Green, with the darker green areas being the most affluent.
Figure 2 shows the Median Household Income for the Long Beach/Palos Verdes area of California, with some parts of Long Beach being very poor while Palos Verdes and the beach communities of southern Santa Monica Bay being affluent.
With GIS, cartography is getting ever increasingly exploratory. In years past, static maps were read like books – all of the information was there in front of you to see. The beauty of GIS is that information is “there” in front of you, while simultaneously there is potentially an endless amount of information that can be mined, discovered, manipulated, and used. Thus, the exploratory nature of GIS renders maps as portals of information, rather than static “what you see is what you get” maps. With our Business Analyst products, you can discover relationships between Educational Attainment and Median Household Income levels and how this affects Consumer Spending patterns. You can use historical data to run trend analyses, as well as run predictive analyses with “what if” scenarios (e.g. “What if we closed Store A and opened a store at another site?”). Indeed, the amount of information and discovery at your fingertips (all information that helps you to make better business decisions) is enormous!
Please stay tuned for the next in this series as we look at cartographic optimization methods that were implemented for Business Analyst 9.3.1 and why 9.3.1’s performance was several times faster than 9.2. Thanks.
by Kyle Watson
In recent weeks you may have seen that the next version of ESRI’s core desktop software “ArcGIS 9.4″ is now beefed up to “ArcGIS 10.” There are many significant additions and efficiencies in “10″ and I’d like to share we also plan a Business Analyst 10 release.
Here is a quick look at some of the new features we plan on including in BA10:
- Workflow based toolbars: Business Analyst and Territory Design toolbars will get facelifts, making them less “tools” based and more focused on solving business problems from start to finish.
- Business Analyst Window: This will be a dockable location for all of the common Business Analyst features. You’ll be able to easily add favorite commands (almost like adding iPhone apps).
- Revised custom data creation wizard: We’re making it easier to bring in your own custom data and make BDS layers.
- Color-Coded Maps: A new way to easily access data and create thematic maps.
- Enhanced business search: A new way to search and filter for competitors to export exactly what you want.
- Enhanced reports: New reports and better styled ones too. Plus we’re adding a way to hit data hosted as a service and include them in reports…so you don’t have to wait for new datasets shipping to you on DVDs.
So check back in regularly for further details on ESRI Business Analyst 10.
by Brenda Wolfe
With the next release of Esri Business Analyst Online at the end of this month, a new thematic mapping feature will be available within Color-Coded Maps. Users have been asking for the ability to map normalized variables, and now they will get their wish. Users will be able to map variables as regular values or as percentages.
For example, below is a map of 2009 Family Population. As expected, New York, California and Texas are highlighted as having high Family Population. In fact, for just about any available variable, New York, California, and Texas are the highest simply because they have the largest populations.
However, if we plot 2009 Family Population as a percentage of the Total Population, you can see some shifts. New York is now in the second to lowest category and Utah and Idaho have moved into the top category.
ESRI Business Analyst Online users will soon be able to select normalized versions of variables from the variable selection menu within the Color-Coded Maps tab. A percentage-number toggle indicates witch variables have both types of values for mapping.
Once a variable is mapped, it is easy to toggle back and forth and watch the map dance by using the same toggle switch on the legend.
Look for this feature at the end of August. It really makes the data come alive.