Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CARTESIAN CALORIES



Scientific American recently ran a short piece on amateur cartographers and "food deserts," urban areas where the markets and grocery stores sell mainly packaged foods of low nutritional value instead of fresh produce. As one might've guessed, these areas have generally shown up in low income areas within cities, and there are a number of theories as to how that came about: higher rents within cities relative to suburbs; supermarkets following the general migration of people from cities to suburbs; and the increased rate of closures amongst urban grocers due to competition from suburban supermarkets.

Stephen Von Worley's map of distances to the nearest McDonald's
(brightness indicates proximity to closest McDonald's)
But I couldn't help but think of another food map that Stephen Von Worley wrote about on Datapointed last year: the McFurthest Point. Von Worley mapped every McDonald's location in the US (see above), and was then able to determine the one geographic point in the continental US that was the furthest from any given McDonald's. It's 115 miles away - "as the crow flies," for those tax/map nerds out there - from any of the Golden Arches, nestled up in the deserts of northwestern Nevada.

Got a yearning to get your Casey Affleck/Matt Damon on and rid yourself of the Fry Guys? Here's a video of Von Worley actually traveling to the McFurthest Point:

I still think there's only one of these around though:


Next time: how Grimace was an evil multi-legged milkshake monster.

Joe.
the clutterer Web Developer

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