GRI Exhibiting at ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago [Booth #2824] – See you on January 30th!

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Visit the SimplyMap team at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago late January. We will be at booth #2824 offering product demonstrations, tips & tricks, and of course Ghirardelli Chocolate!

Exhibit Hours

Friday, January 30th – 5:30pm-7:30pm

Saturday, January 31st – 9:00am-5:00pm

Sunday, February 1st – 9:00am-5:00pm

Monday, February 2nd – 9:00am-2:00pm



American Household Spending on Pets

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In this week’s SimplyMap blog post, we set out to discover which large US cities spend the most money per year on their pets. To find this out we used the variable, “Pets, Household Average” found in the consumer expenditure category in SimplyMap.


The national quantiles (by counties) in our legend ranged from a low of $190.35 to a high of $751.84. Using the “Create Ranking from Map” feature, we were presented with the following unfiltered results:


Creating a ranking report from a map using the US as the location will present county level data by default. Because we wanted to find larger US cities, we had to do two things: change the geography that the data was analyzed by, and create a population filter to show cities with a population greater than 100,000.

Changing How the Data is Analyzed

Changing the geographies of your ranking report is a simple two step process. First, select the “analyze data by” drop down menu and then select a new geographic unit. SimpyMap will present your new data immediately.


Creating and Applying a Filter

To create and apply a filter to only show cities with a population > 100,000:

Select “Data filters” then “Create new filter” from the top right of your screen.


At the filter creation screen, we used a recent variable # Population. We then set the condition to be greater than and typed in the value of 100,000. Lastly, we created a name and saved the filter.


Final Results Presented

Using the Display Options menu located near the top right of SimplyMap, we chose to hide results that did not meet our criteria of a city population greater than 100,000. The final results are below:


At a yearly average of $737.86, Highlands Ranch, CO ranks #1 in the United States in yearly average household spending on pets.

Stay tuned for more reports and SimplyMap tips & tricks!


SimplyMap Tip – Editing the Map Legend

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Today we take a look at one of the more advanced features in SimplyMap – editing the map legend. Editing the map legend is a great way to not only customize how the data is distributed on the map, but to also change the look and feel of the map.

First, you can customize the map by changing the geographic unit shown and the variable year from the legend.


Data can be displayed by State, Congressional District, County, City, ZIP Code, Census Tract, or Census Block Group. The geographic unit can be chosen manually, or you can check the box labeled “Auto-select Geo Unit,” and SimplyMap will automatically display the most appropriate geography based on the zoom level of the map. Zooming into an area will result in increasingly smaller geographic units and present the data in greater detail.

To edit other aspects of the map legend, select “Edit Legend” at the bottom of the legend. The Legend Editor will open. The image below details this dialog, along with an explanation of what can be edited:


1. Classification Method: This dropdown determines how the data in your map is grouped. There are multiple methods for calculating break values for the data. You can select any of the following from the Classification Method menu:

•Quantiles (Local)
•Quantiles (National)
•Natural Breaks (Local)
•Natural Breaks (National)
•Equal Intervals

Changing from Quantiles (National) to Quantiles (Local) will reconfigure your data ranges to reflect a sample of locations from the current view, as opposed to viewing it on a national scale.

You can learn more about each of the classification methods in the FAQ.

2. Number of Categories: Determines the number of data ranges you would like to see. This will also impact the number of colors you see on the map. By default, this will show 5.


3. Color Scheme: Changes the map’s color scheme. Alternatively, if you select an individual box in the legend, you can apply your color of choice for each.


4. Data Values: Allows the user to manually enter new category break values and create custom data ranges.


5. Outline Color/Outline Thickness: Changes the color and thickness of your map’s outline. The image below shows a map’s color outline and thickness set to a darker grey, and 2 respectively.


This is what the final map would look like with the edited color outline and thickness:


Stay tuned for more SimplyMap tips and tricks!



Exploring SimplyMap Data: America’s Most Educated Cities

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In this week’s report, we research America’s most educated cities. SimplyMap contains a total of 111 educational attainment variables, including general population and by race.

We used the variable “% Education, College, Master’s or Doctorate Degree” to account for all populations possessing at least a bachelor’s degree. This variable can be found using the following path: Census Data >> 2010 Geographies >> People and Households >> Education >> Attainment. The image below details this path.


The following US map was then created, shown by county:


Using the Make Ranking from Map feature while viewing the US, the report will rank county level data by default.


We then utilized the Analyze data by tool found at the top of the results, and changed the geographies to display cities.


Lastly, we applied a data filter to only show cities with populations greater than 50,000 (read our entry on using the data filter here). In the end, we were left with the following results:


It looks like Cupertino, CA ranks #1 in the US for having the most college graduates at 70.5%, narrowly beating out Palo Alto, CA (70.41%) and Hoboken, NJ (69.28%).

Is there a variable you’re interested in seeing mapped or ranked? Let us know!


SimplyMap Tip – Creating a Map from a Ranking Report

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Our recent series Exploring SimplyMap Data Reports has focused on creating ranking reports for unique variables. Accordingly, we thought it would be helpful to write a quick tip on how to create a map directly from the ranking results.

After creating a ranking report in SimplyMap, you can quickly create a map using any of the locations in your ranking. Let’s look at an example.

Our November 6 Report, “Which US Locations Dine Out the Most?” identified ZIP code 95035 in Milpitas, CA as the ZIP Code with the highest average spending on restaurant and carry out meals. We can find out exactly where it is located by mapping the location directly from the report by hovering over the location and selecting “Create Map” from the action dropdown, as shown below:


A map using the ranked variable (Meals at restaurants, carry outs and other (Household Average), 2014) will then be created. The image below shows an exported image of ZIP code 95035 in Milpitas, CA.


Stay tuned for more SimplyMap tips and tricks!


Veterans in the United States

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With Veteran’s Day in the US this week, we thought it would be an ideal time to explore some of the variables in SimplyMap that pertain to veterans. Specifically, we wanted to know which cities, zip codes, and states had the highest percentage of veterans? Because we are ranking by different geographies, a Ranking Report in SimplyMap is the best choice.

The variable used was, “% Veterans, Total” which can be found using this path:

Census Data >> 2010 Geographies >> People and Households >> Veterans.

For locations, we started off with the United States, and analyzed three different geographies (individually) from the Analyze data by drop down.


Here are the results for state, city, and zip code:



CITY (population > 10,000):


LARGE CITY (population > 100,000):


ZIP CODE (population > 1,000):


Did any of the results surprise you? Let us know!

We’d like to extend a big THANK YOU to all veterans and those currently serving.



Exploring SimplyMap Data: Which US Locations Dine Out the Most?

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With over 75,000 variables in SimplyMap, you can find virtually any information you want. This week, we take a look at which U.S. locations spend the most money eating at restaurants or carrying out. Here’s how we did it and what we found.

The variable used was, “Meals at restaurants, carry outs and other (Household Average), 2014.” This variable can be found using this path in SimplyMap: Consumer Expenditure » In 2010 Geographies » Food » Food Away from Home » At Restaurants, Carry-Out, Etc.

Before we rank other geographies, let’s view the nation at large.


This provides a great overview, and we can see that a number of counties, mostly focused in the Northeast and West, lead the way for average household spending on dining out. We can analyze the data further by ranking these counties, using the “Make Ranking from Map” feature, which can be accessed from the Actions menu near the upper right corner of the Map panel.


Selecting, “Make Ranking from Map” yielded the following top 10 counties:


It looks like Loudoun County, VA spends the most amount of money dining out at restaurants in the United States.

Next, we wanted to view the same variable by city. Use the Analyze data by: menu at the top of the report to change the geographic unit to cities (note that you can also choose States, Zip Codes, or even Census Tracts if you want information about a specific local area).


When we switched to city, and applied a data filter to only show cities with more than 50,000 residents (read more about our data filter here), we were left with the following cities:


This information, combined with some additional research in SimplyMap, could be helpful in understanding dining habits in your study area, or even in siting a new business. SimplyMap combines analytical insight from reports like these with the visual impact of compelling maps in your research to help you understand, analyze, and visualize your data.



SimplyMap 3.0 Tip – Using the Data Filter

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At times it can be useful to apply filters to the data in SimplyMap as a means of focusing on specific characteristics, or preforming a query. For example, a map showing household income levels by ZIP Code could be filtered to only show ZIP Codes with income over a specific threshold.
Filters can be applied to any map or report. When a filter is applied to a report, the locations that do not meet the filter criteria can be stricken out in the report, or hidden entirely. Let’s look at an example.

If you run a ranking report for counties in the US with the most residents possessing a Bachelor’s degree, you will see the following:


It turns out that the counties with the highest percentages of college graduates are found in lower population counties- Gunnison County, CO for example only has a population of 15,507. In order to analyze this data for larger population counties, we can apply a Data Filter. Here’s how:

1. From the Data Filters menu near the upper right corner of the window, select Create New Filter.


2. The Create New Filter window will pop up. Select a recent variable, filter option, set a value for the filter, and provide a descriptive name.


3. After you select save, you’ll see a list of counties that meet your new criteria.

Below is the new list of counties (> 250,000 population) with the highest % of bachelor’s degrees.


You may see a list of areas listed with a line through the middle to indicate the county has not reached your criteria (shown above). If you’d prefer to not see them at all, the display options menu has an option to hide them altogether.


Here is what the results would look like if we hid those counties.




GRI Exhibiting at ALA Las Vegas – See you on June 26th!

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Visit the SimplyMap team at the ALA Annual Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas later this month. We will be at booth 1271, offering product demonstrations, tips & tricks, and of course raffling off a wide-screen monitor!

Exhibit Hours:

Friday June 27th             5:30-7pm
Saturday June 28th        9-5
Sunday June 29th           9-5
Monday June 30th          9-2

We're Exhibiting at ALA


We are Exhibiting at SLA 2014!

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Another fantastic series of workshops and events are planned at the SLA Conference on June 8-10th, 2014. Register now for networking and workshops throughout the week.

Over 200 events are scheduled and between workshops, you can visit the Geographic Research booth for demonstrations of SimplyMap 3.0.