Monthly Archives: May 2015

Seven maps that will change the way you look at history

Maps are powerful tools for answering questions, solving problems, advancing our understanding, and communicating more effective stories.

These seven interactive maps seamlessly blend stories, images, and geography to present new perspectives on some well-known historical happenings.


Geography, Class, and Fate: Passengers on the Titanic

A century ago the Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank. This interactive map of travelers’ hometowns reveals the immigrant status of most third-class passengers, who also suffered the highest fatality rate. Continue reading

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A Question of Scale, Resolution, and MMU

I often find myself explaining aspects of map scales to people trying to use maps.  They are interested in questions about how big something shown on the map is, or how far a distance measured on the map is, or the accuracy of features depicted on the map.  As the creators of the maps we must understand the nuances of maps, so that the people who use them can use them appropriately. After all, with great power comes great responsibility!

One of the areas that I find confuses people is map scales, resolution, and minimum mapping units (MMU). Continue reading

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Success through Data Science

How a start-up is helping big name brands cash in through spatial modeling and analytics.

Shawn Hanna, Managing Partner of Retail Scientifics

Finding a successful retail site doesn’t require a crystal ball, but it does take the ability to clearly see and understand what your data is really telling you. And this is a whole lot simpler and easier when you couple GIS technology with real-world experience.

Shawn Hanna, Managing Partner of Retail Scientifics, knows this well. For thirteen years, he was responsible for advanced analytics at Petco, helping the company with real estate, market planning, marketing, and pricing, all using location intelligence.

When Petco moved the company’s analytics function to Texas from San Diego, California, Shawn and several others decided to venture out on their own. They opened up a consultancy that performs analytics projects for retailers broadly. The group focuses on modeling, forecasting accuracy, ad hoc analytics, and other data driven projects. Continue reading

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Squeeze Play: Generation X is Stuck in the Middle

Sandwiched Between Baby Boomers, Millennials, Parents, and Kids

Since they were first identified, the huge Baby Boomer and Millennial cohorts have fascinated demographers and sociologists. As they moved through their lifestages, these two groups influenced life in the US; however, over the years, Generation X (GenXers) was stuck in the middle and largely ignored.

So, who are the GenXers? According to Pew Research, GenXers are stuck in the middle of everything. Demographically, they’re between the ages of 34 to 49; not old, but not young. Pew also notes that they are more racially and ethnically diverse than Boomers (61 to 72 percent), but less diverse than Millennials (57 to 61 percent).

Generation X households are scattered across the US. Some counties in the Greater Denver metro area count GenXers as more than 12% of the total population. Many GenXers also live in Clark County, Nevada (14% of 2,083,955 people) and Lexington County, South Carolina (14% of 278,599 people). However, only 7% of the 47,255 people in Whitman County, Washington are GenXers. This map shows where you can find GenXers by county in the US. View the interactive map.

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Location, Location, Location…Platform

Three companies describe how they use a location platform for commercial real estate.

Real estate is no longer just about “location, location, location.” It relies on location, information, and timing to identify and bring to completion the best developments. Having access to reliable, relevant, and timely location intelligence and insight allows real estate professionals to focus on the business at hand: delivering the best deals for all involved.

The right tools allow you to use insight, creativity, and objectivity to work out the best deal for you and your clients by applying the right information about particular locations to bring your vision to reality. Esri’s ArcGIS platform provides the tools and data you need to move on a decision quickly, and reap the benefits. Three different commercial real estate companies describe how they are able to address the business at hand using the ArcGIS platform. Continue reading

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Seeing is Believing: The Reach of Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management was one of the factors that helped us out of the middle ages. Where would we be today without the tools and processes to manage the flow of goods and services or the ability to utilize specialist’s skills and resources far apart from another? Chances are, we’d still be raising our own food.

While I admit that I have days when I fantasize about this type of simplicity, I like my cushy life too much to give up on essentials like Starbucks coffee. Plus, my family would quickly starve if we had to rely on my farming skills. So, it is good that instead of farming and foraging, I work for a software company instead.

Today, the flow of goods in the world relies heavily on bits and bytes shared among the world’s computers. Each day, software and computers control billions of dollars-worth of goods traded between countries. These goods—anything from livestock and produce to mobile phones and coffee beans—travel from farms and assembly plants to stores by truck, rail, air, and ship.  Supply chains link the world’s population tightly together; all our lives depend increasingly on timely and smooth operations and careful supply chain management.

Logistics centers keep the global supply chain moving.

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Cinco de Mayo: Celebrated in the US and around the World

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), a national holiday in Mexico, marks the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when against overwhelming odds, the Mexican Army defeated French forces. To commemorate the victory and acknowledge their ancestry, many Mexicans in the US and around the world will participate in parades, dancing, mariachi bands, and festivals that are part of the celebrations. Traditional Mexican food along with Dos Equis and Corona beer is often served or sold.

Thanks to American marketers, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are bigger in the US than in Mexico. Adding color and spice, this holiday has introduced cultural favorites such as piñatas, bright costumes, tacos, and Cinco de Mayo celebrations to mainstream America. For restaurants, grocery and party supply stores, and the food and beverage industry, Cinco de Mayo has become a much anticipated crossover event. In addition to the US population of Mexican descent, marketers have promoted Cinco de Mayo celebrations to everyone in the US, creating a major, revenue-generating juggernaut. Continue reading

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