Halloween Candy Map 2018

Americans are expected to spend about $9 billion on Halloween this year as they buy costumes, decorations, greeting cards and candy for the annual Oct. 31 event.

The National Retail Federation estimates that more than 175 million Americans are planning to participate in Halloween activities this year, spending about $3.2 billion on costumes, $2.7 billion on decorations, and $2.6 billion on candy.

Bulk candy dealer CandyStore.com looked through 11 years of data to come up with the favorite Halloween candy in each U.S. state.  Continue reading

The Measure W Map – Using GIS for Taxes

Ah taxes, don’t you just love em?  Every year there seems to be a new tax we have to pay.  And now there is Measure W for a new proposed property tax, and it uses GIS!  Et tu, GIS? 🙂

Do you own property in LA County?  Read on.  You rent in LA County?  Your landlord can raise your rent to cover the tax.  You should read on too.  Continue reading

High Fire-Threat District Map

With the recent high winds and SCE turning off power so their high power lines don’t spark a fire, you wonder how we got here?  Well, it started back in October 2007 when wildfires driven by strong Santa Ana winds burned hundreds of square miles in Southern California.  Some of the worst wildfires were reportedly ignited by overhead utility power lines.  Continue reading

The Kingdom of California

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will exhibit “The Kingdom of California: Mapping the Pacific Coast in the Age of Exploration” through January 2nd.  The exhibition displays 17th to 19th century maps and books, including maps showing California as an island as well as 19th century coastal charts.  Entry to the exhibit is free with paid museum admission.  Check it out!


A Map of Every Building In America

This one is interesting!  The New York Times has created a page with an interactive map showing every building in the US.  How did they do this?  They used data from a huge database that Microsoft released to the public this year.  Microsoft’s computer engineers trained a neural network to analyze satellite imagery and extract out shapes of 125,192,184 buildings across the country.  Click below and read on!


Citizens Favor a More Digital Government

In a recent survey of citizens across the world it was found 86% view digital delivery of public services “as equally or more important” than traditional methods of public service delivery.  And most are willing to provide personal or potentially sensitive data to improve the personalization of services.  For example, 73% of citizens polled would provide biometric data such as fingerprints, retinal scans, or voice identification to government in exchange for more personalized service.  Of course Americans were about 10 percent less likely than their global counterparts to share personal information to improve government service delivery … I don’t blame them!  Click below to read more.


Harvard WorldMap

Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) has created Harvard WorldMap, an online open-source mapping platform developed to lower barriers for scholars who wish to explore, visualize, edit, and publish geospatial information.  WorldMap was created to provide a mapping platform that supports large datasets that also allows collaboration.  Anyone can create their own online mapping portal, upload large GIS layers and overlay them with other layers, and control access to their data.  Check it out!


Proposed 38 States of the USA

In 1973, a California State University geography professor suggested that the US redraw its state boundaries and reduce the number of states to 38.  State lines were to be drawn in less populated areas, isolating large cities and reducing their number within each state.  Thus with fewer cities vying for state tax dollars, more money would be available for projects that would benefit all citizens.  Alas, the idea died in Washington.  Click below to read more about it.


More info here.  And here.