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.



PLA Conference Exhibitor 2014

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March 11-15
Indianapolis, Indiana


The Public Library Association is prepared for another week of events, workshops and special appearances for librarians and authors. Visit our exhibit between the 12th – 14th to learn more about new features in Simply Map 3.0 and enter a raffle for a wide-screen monitor.

Stay the entire week to hear David Sedaris at the closing reception. Register Now!



Live Demonstrations at SCELC Vendor Day

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The Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium is holding another packed week of workshops and networking during the SCELCapalooza event in March 2014.  Geographic Research will be exhibiting on Vendor day, Thursday March 6th to showcase the new features of SimplyMap 3.0, including New Business Report, enhanced exports, location “nicknames,” over 70,000 variables, and more.

Register now!

Join us and see firsthand why SimplyMap 3.0 leads the industry in information mapping and data visualization software.

Live Demonstrations at SCELC


Using SimplyMap to Understand Fitness Trends and Consumer Demand

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, Business & Economics Subject Specialist at Ohio University Libraries has produced some excellent tutorial videos to help students learn how to analyze data and create maps and reports using SimplyMap. The latest addition to Chad’s Business Blog involves a feasibility analysis of opening a fitness center franchise in Indianapolis, Indiana. This video shows how to better understand the fitness market and locate potential competitors in Indianapolis using SimplyMap. The approach used can be applied to analysis of local consumer trends and competitors in other fields as well, all using data found in SimplyMap.

– Video: How to analyze local consumer trends and competitors in the personal fitness market using SimplyMap (6:39)

A list of all of Chad’s video resources on SimplyMap can be found here.

Thank you to Chad for developing these valuable resources and making them available to the SimplyMap community!

Ohio University Business Blog