Data Driven Digest for September 25: US Map Potpourri

It’s not uncommon for communities to be split down the middle of two states just because an 18 Century surveyor identified a geospatial line. Do the lines separate us or do our behaviors? We ask this because this week’s Data Driven Digest focuses on three maps of the United States that are distinct more because of the behaviors of the people that live in them than the actual lines that separate them. Enjoy!


five guys

You Want Fries With That?: If you are hungry for data, our friends over at DataBucket serve up a hot dish of information. An interactive map based around prices at Five Guys Burger and Fries restaurants tracks prices on four items available at the restaurant: Bacon Burger, Fries, Bacon Cheeseburger and Hot Dog. It’s no surprise that a meal in Midtown Manhattan costs nearly $3.00 more than one in Kansas City, Kansas. The map is novel, however, in that it displays data gathered by using Five Guys online ordering website. The 29-year-old chain currently has 1,000 locations in the United States, Canada, Britain and United Arab Emirates with 1,500 more under development. There is one item available at the restaurant that is priced consistently. All roasted in-shell peanuts found in the dining area are free.

debate

No Debate: With several months to go before the 2016 US Presidential election, we’re taking a look at some early returns. Washington Post writer Philip Bump (@pbump) notes that the upcoming televised Presidential debate in St. Louis, Missouri will be the fourth such time the city has hosted a presidential or vice presidential contest in the last 56 years. Bump suggests the St. Louis bias may come from the familiarity with host Washington University of St. Louis as well as Missouri’s past swing-state status. The Post’s visualization’s auto-build is quite impressive. You can clearly see the 28 states that have yet to host the marquee stump. Three other sites slated for next year include Dayton’s Wright State University; Farmville, Va.’s, Longwood University; and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

startup funding

Startup Funding Nation: Silicon Valley startups get a lot of attention from venture capital firms, but how much is much? Our friends over at DataBucket used datasets from CrunchBase drawn from Github and built it into an interactive map that tracks the average funding amount and number of companies for each state and funding round. The wealth distribution weighs so heavily in California that the second largest state for funding (New York) is nearly a quarter of the investments flowing into the Golden State.

While any state can spawn startup seed money (yes, we are looking at you South Dakota) emerging venture capital hotspots include Florida, Texas and Massachusetts. Startups are big money. VCs invested more than $48.3 billion in 2014 according to data released by the National Venture Capital Association. That seed money supported upwards of 4,356 deals. Series A funds are typically used to get a company going, while successive funds are used to help grow the business. After receiving $1.6 billion in early funds, Uber is currently locking into place a $2.8 billion to expand. Elon Musk’s SpaceX grabbed a $1 billion-dollar cash infusion valued at a more than $10 billion.

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