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.

2014-11-06_11-47-34

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.

makerankingfrommap

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

uscountymeals

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).

analyzedataby

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:

top10awaymealscity

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.

 

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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:

counties

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.

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.

filteroptions

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.

newcounties

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.

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

filter_with_hidden

 

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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

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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

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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

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New Tutorials for SimplyMap Users

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SimplyMap includes a number of helpful support tools; guided wizards available when and where you need them, detailed help files, and an online support center with FAQs and searchable knowledge-base.

Along with the release of SimplyMap 3.0, we have recently updated the tutorial library, posting several new videos. Once you login to SimplyMap, you can find these videos by clicking on the Help tab and then selecting the topic you are interested in.

We have general how-to tutorials for those just getting started:

  • Map Tutorial
  • Report Tutorial
  • Ranking Tutorial
  • Ring Study Tutorial
  • Business Points Tutorial

And now, we have advanced tutorials that address some of the more advanced SimplyMap functions:

Mapping Demographic Data
This tutorial highlights how to analyze demographic data for specific locations. The video walks through creating a map showing all zip codes in a major city. It includes updating break points, creating a ranking from a map, and exporting maps and reports with the demographic data.

Data Filters
Learn how to create data filters and apply them to both maps and reports to identify specific characteristics of the data.

Adding Locations
Users learn how to use the i-Tool effectively in this tutorial. We show you how to create a map and select locations from that map with the i-Tool in order to easily create reports around those locations.

As always, we are open to your suggestions. If you feel a specific tutorial would be helpful, get in touch with us at support@geographicresearch.com

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SimplyMap 3.0 is Here!

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SimplyMap 3.0 is here, and uses the latest technology to provide better performance, improved reliability, and powerful new features. There are many improvements designed to make it easier than ever to find and analyze data and create professional, GIS quality thematic maps. Here are the most significant changes.

New Maps, Enhanced User Interface
SimplyMap 3.0 uses the latest mapping technology and improved basemap styling. Our maps are more detailed than ever, yet easy to digest. The rest of the SimplyMap interface has also received a subtle face lift.

Business Points Report
Create and export lists of businesses directly in a report.

Customizable Map Exports
Significant improvements to map exports allow users to crop map images, control paper size and page orientation, and export maps as high resolution vector images.

Location Aliases
Give locations an alias, or nickname, (e.g., “My House” or “Target Area”) to make them more user friendly.

i-Tool Enhancements
Click anywhere on the map with the new i-Tool to identify all geographic units for that location.

More Compatible
Cross browser compatibility now includes Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 7 and higher.

Explore SimplyMap today!

 

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SimplyMap 3.0 Tips and Tricks – The i-Tool

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Do you know the quickest way to find the name of a Block Group, Census Tract or ZIP code in our upcoming release for 3.0?  The i-Tool gives you the ability to click anywhere on a map to get more detailed information about that map point.

On any map tab in SimplyMap, click on the i-Tool icon on the toolbar (circled):

SimplyMap i-Tool

The cursor changes to a question mark and you can now click anywhere on the map to get more detail. The active geographic unit, specified in the Legend, will determine what type of location is selected when you click (e.g., block group, census tract, ZIP code, county, etc.).

Click a specific location on the map and you’ll see a new selection box appear with information and options:

SimplyMap i-Tool Function

Browse the alternative locations to see what other geographic units apply to this point or:

  • Use this Location: Zoom the map to a different geographic unit in the area clicked with the iTool selector
  • Add to Favorites: Adds the clicked location to your Favorites for easy future access
  • Add to Combination: Add the location to a current combination location or create a brand new combination.
  • Add Alias: This allows you to rename the clicked location with a more familiar or recognizable alias, or nickname, and add the new alias to the Recent Locations list.
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