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absorbable hemostatic powder consisting of Microporous Polysaccharide Hemospheres (MPH®), Medafor's patented blood clotting technology, derived from purified plant starch. Usage of the product begins clotting the blood on contact, accelerating the body’s natural processes. Hospitals will occasionally administer a bleeding time test prior to certain surgical procedures. If a patient is not suffering from a bleeding disorder, the test generally takes less than ten minutes. Ten minutes, however, is a long time to bleed on the operating table, which helps emphasize both the importance and the popularity of this breakthrough product in a surgical environment. According to Millennium Research Group (MRG), the global authority on medical technology market intelligence, “the United States market for surgical hemostats, internal tissue sealants and adhesion barriers will grow strongly, reaching a total of $1.7 billion by 2016. In particular, the market for combination surgical hemostats will grow at an average of nearly 15 percent per year.” Medafor is well-positioned in this market, and with its continued excellence, and focus on marketing and business strategy development, the company is expected to continue increasing its market share in this high growth industry. Currently, Medafor has a growing team of over 120 independent sales representatives in the United States and an equally impressive distribution network around the world. By joining forces with GeoMetrx, Medafor has put our online application to use to optimize its sales territories. Optimizing sales territories creates many efficiencies including territory alignment, elimination of overlap, minimized travel time, balanced workload, increased productivity and much more. Another valuable feature offered by GeoMetrx is the ability to upload and assimilate a company’s proprietary data. Medafor is taking full advantage of this opportunity as well and can now aggregate, compare, rank and map its own customer data, in addition to utilizing the many other strategic planning benefits of visualizing one's own data. Medafor team members, Neil Hauger, Shawn Perry, and Joe Schmitzer, recently traveled to Bend, Oregon to meet with GeoMetrx’s Rich Mithoff and Patrick O’Neill for a custom training session of our online mapping application. During their visit, they experienced the scenic beauty and charm of this small town that has become an international mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. They wrapped up their stay with a visit to one of Bend’s many microbreweries, 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Cheers and welcome to the family! [post_title] => Customer Spotlight: Medafor, Inc. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => customer-spotlight-medafor-inc [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-09-07 16:47:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-09-07 21:47:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [75] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4500 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-09-04 15:12:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-09-04 20:12:05 [post_content] => Health Insurance Ownership - Heat Map The Health Insurance Industry continues to be a major topic of discussion in the U.S., particularly with the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”).  Despite the challenges faced by this industry and the continued rocky road toward economic recovery, the industry is holding its own.  According to S&P, the 2012 Outlook for this sector is stable, “…reflecting our belief that industry risk is moderating, business conditions have improved, and health insurers' financial fundamentals are now relatively strong.” Current ownership of medical, health and hospital insurance is displayed in the map below by percentage of the U.S. Adult Population (18+). Areas of the least coverage are shown in red, while those with the greatest coverage are shown in green. Health insurance coverage is only part of overall health care spending.  Each month, the Altarum Institute releases its HealthCare Spending Brief. The most recent publication reveals the following findings based on data collected through June 2012: • Hospital spending was $910 billion seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) and represented 32% of total health spending • Physician and clinical services spending was $547 billion, remaining at 19% of total health spending • Prescription drug spending was $281 billion, 10% of total health spending • Nursing home and home health spending combined were $230 billion, 8% of total health spending. • Spending on personal health care goods and services accounted for 84% of total health spending (other major components include public health, research, construction, and net cost of private insurance) What do these figures mean? According to the Washington Post, health care spending in the last two years has been slow, much slower than in previous decades. Take a look at health care spending for June 2012 vs. June 2011, showing a continued decline in overall growth. For more information on how to obtain access to GeoMetrx datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436. [post_title] => Health Insurance Ownership - Heat Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => health-insurance-ownership-heat-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-09-06 15:12:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-09-06 20:12:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [76] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4485 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-08-30 12:25:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-30 17:25:18 [post_content] => Web Resources: Interactive Hurricane Tracker Last night I was 'half-watching' the news waiting for the weather report, and when it finally came on I not only got the information I wanted, but also a sweet extra... more on that in a moment.  Why was I so anxious for the weather report? Well, we are supposed to be in the path for Isaac eventually, and living in the unbelievably drought-ridden Mississippi River Valley, we are actually looking forward to a good, long soaking. At first we expected Isaac as early as this morning, but then he decided to stall over the Gulf Coast for awhile. Isaac is still slowing making his way north toward us before taking a turn and pushing northeast, but just exactly when will he get here and how will he impact our Labor Day weekend plans? And how many more times will the forecast change before the rain arrives? I'm one of those people that has the weather channel not only bookmarked, but also pinned on my bookmark bar. I click that link - a lot! I like to know what to expect, as much as the weather can be predicted. And there is something about the merger of weather and maps that really speaks to the 'mapping geek' in me. So as I turned my attention to the weather report last night, our meteorologist casually mentioned this nifty little tracking tool he likes to use that the viewers could check out online. "Weather?" "Map?" "Online?" "Utility?"  Can you hear my voice getting higher pitched and more excited with each passing second?  I had to check it out immediately and I have to say it totally rocks! This utility,, offers four different map views, 15 different weather layers (you can choose to view any or all of them at the same time), live streaming video links plotted directly on the map, zoom tools, measurement tools and even a drawing tool that allows you to mark up the map to your heart's content! Another really nice feature is the fullscreen setting... so many utilities overlook such a simple feature, but this one got it right! I've pinned this one to my bookmark bar, too! Check it out, I think you'll really enjoy it. [post_title] => Interactive Weather Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => interactive-weather-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-30 12:25:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-08-30 17:25:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [77] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4418 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-08-16 14:15:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-16 19:15:59 [post_content] => Geography in the News: Book Release Susan Schulten, a self-proclaimed map enthusiast, author and history professor at the University of Denver, has recently published her second book, Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America, (University of Chicago Press, July 6, 2012). For the past two centuries, maps have been an important part of our history. The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) mapped much of the Northwest, as the team attempted to discover a water route to the Pacific. Maps were also used to understand and prevent epidemics, track weather patterns, analyze the demographics and psychographics of the south at the end of the Civil War, and much more. By the end of the nineteenth century, Congress authorized a national archive of maps, recognizing the historical importance of old maps in tracing our nation’s history. From the publisher’s page: “All of these experiments involved the realization that maps were not just illustrations of data, but visual tools that were uniquely equipped to convey complex ideas and information. In Mapping the Nation, Susan Schulten charts how maps of epidemic disease, slavery, census statistics, the environment, and the past demonstrated the analytical potential of cartography, and in the process transformed the very meaning of a map.”  In addition to the book, Schulten has created Mapping the Nation, a companion site showcasing some of the spectacular maps from this important era. Below is a map from the book depicting the Electoral College results from the very first presidential election of George Washington in 1789 through Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876. [caption id="attachment_4423" align="aligncenter" width="1002" caption="US Electoral College results for 1789-1876 w/inset portrait and facsimile signature of each President. States participating in each election are color coded by party voted. Beginning with 1824, the current President of Mexico is also listed. ~Susan Schulten, Mapping the Nation, July 6, 2012, University of Chicago Press"][/caption] Click here for a close-up view of the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Click here to learn more about Schulten's first book, The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880-1950. [post_title] => Book Release: Mapping the Nation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => book-release-mapping-the-nation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-17 14:16:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-08-17 19:16:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [78] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4389 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-08-02 09:47:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-02 14:47:18 [post_content] => Geography in the News: Money Map Poster Heraclitus (535 B.C. - 475 B.C.), is the Greek philosopher credited with coining the phrase, "nothing endures but change," which has often been translated to the saying we are more familiar with "the only constant is change."  Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), a Russian-born, American author, brought the concept into the mainstream with the following quote:
"The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be."
Regardless of its source, this is an age-old adage that will remain true until the end of time, and perhaps even beyond that. Geographies and economies are two excellent examples of this constant change, and thanks to the power of the Web, the latest and most up-to-date information is just a click away. With millions of web-surfers constantly trolling and services such as Reddit to keep us all in the loop, new, unique and intereting postings go viral very quickly. Just this week, a clever Reddit user, The310Investigator, created a fun map, combining both geography and the economy.  The map depicts each country around the globe by the paper currency in use. If you haven't seen it yet, here it is: It's very cool, but how long will it be before this map is already outdated? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, it will "change," especially if this clever mapper creates a coin version! [post_title] => Money Map Poster [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => money-map-poster [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-03 09:47:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-08-03 14:47:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [79] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4327 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-31 10:08:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-31 15:08:10 [post_content] => GeoMetrx Data in Action: Train Travel  Heat Map Our GeoMetrx online mapping application excels in creating rich demographic reports, demographic mapping, aligning & mapping sales or franchise territories, performing market analysis, retail site selection and much more. You can use our available current year demographic datasets or upload your own company data to aggregate, compare, rank and map data on demand. Below is a heat map depicting Domestic Railroad Travel, generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The data is depicted at the county level and population percents increase from the light yellow to dark green areas. For more information on how to obtain access to these datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436. [post_title] => Train Travel Heat Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => train-travel-heat-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-03 09:47:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-08-03 14:47:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [80] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4238 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-27 11:28:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-27 16:28:40 [post_content] => High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future The U.S. owes much of its early growth and prosperity to the railroads, and if the visionaries of our country persevere, they may once again regain their prior glory attained during the “Golden Age” of railroading.  Railroads enjoyed the height of their popularity for more than a half-century during the 1880s to 1920s, before other modes of transportation, such as automobiles and airplanes, began to compete in moving goods and people across vast distances.  According to, “…1916 saw peak mileage at over 254,000 [miles of track] and railroads held virtually 100% of all interstate traffic, both passenger and freight.” By the end of WWII, the railroad industry was in serious decline, and by the time the 1970s arrived, railroad operators had to cut back so severely that the trains, and even the tracks themselves, were in serious disrepair. Many of the famous railroad companies collapsed during this era, and out of the ashes arose what is now Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation), a government owned corporation.  The industry was deregulated in 1980, and has slowly been making a comeback ever since. Today, the industry is experiencing a rebirth as many industry leaders and politicians are pushing for the advent of a high-speed US rail system equivalent to those now operating in the European Union, and parts of Asia. While our passenger system is lacking, our freight rail system is widely held to be the best in the world. The freight rail system, surprisingly perhaps, is running out of capacity as the demand has surged in the last decade to levels that have not been seen since WWII.  Other factors contributing to the revival of the railroad industry are: • our aging infrastructure • roadway traffic congestion • eventual depletion of fossil fuel reserves • a growing eco-consciousness to reduce our impact on the earth The challenges facing the industry are great, yet many believe they can be overcome.  These include the varying interests of policy-makers, land rights, the financial obligation of project development and construction, and the lack of connecting local public transportation in many metropolitan areas. Visionaries see the need today to build a passenger rail system that can free us from our utter dependence on the automobile tomorrow. America has long been a world leader and it is, therefore, somewhat baffling that the installation of a high speed rail system is not a higher national priority. Passenger routes in the US, both current and proposed, are a patchwork of many private regional systems. California is in the midst of long-term planning to build a high speed rail corridor through its central valley that will connect northern cities to southern cities with trains that will travel at 200mph. The northeast is host to the fastest trains currently in operation with the U.S. Amtrak’s Acela service traveling from Boston to Washington at speeds up to 150mph. Improvements are planned that will take the top speed to 160mph.  In comparison, most high speed trains in Europe travel at approximately 110 to 185mph.  The Chinese Shanghai Maglev Train, operating via magnetic levitation, has a top speed of 268mph. European rail companies are wrestling one another for future control of the industry and the lion’s share of billions in profits, while back in America, we continue to argue whether high speed rail should even exist. One organization, US High Speed Rail Association, an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(6) trade association is focused on “advancing a state-of-the-art national high speed rail network across the country.” The organization hopes to “organize and mobilize the industry with a shared vision for a 21st century, 17,000 mile national high speed rail system built in phases for completion by 2030.” The map below depicts their vision. While the future of railroads in the US is unknown, one thing is certain - how people will travel in the future impacts long term strategies for many businesses. In the heydays of Route 66, many businesses popped up overnight along the popular east-west corridor. However, as the new Insterstate Highway System eventually bypassed the road, many businesses either closed down or relocated. A national high speed rail system will certainly change the face of America in much the same way, disrupting traffic patterns businesses currently rely upon. Businesses in large cities with well-established public transportation will fair better than those in metropolitan and suburban areas that are predominantly car-dependent. As local markets develop public transportation to support high speed rail traffic, consumer shopping behaviors will change as well. People who rely on public transportation tend to shop more often and purchase smaller amounts of goods compared with people living in suburbs and driving large vehicles who tend to make fewer trips but purchase greater amounts. [post_title] => High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => high-speed-rail-a-vision-for-the-future [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-07-30 11:29:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-07-30 16:29:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [81] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4219 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-23 10:50:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-23 15:50:12 [post_content] => Olympic Games Host Cities "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat...," the ultimate sporting competition is just days away! The 27th Summer Olympics are set to open this Saturday, July 27th, in London. This will be the third time London has been bestowed with the honor of hosting the summer games, having previously done so in 1908 and 1948.  The 1944 summer games were slated to take place in London, however, they were cancelled due to World War II. In fact, the games, have been cancelled 5 times (3 Summer Games and 2 Winter Games) since 1896 when the official  Games of the I Olympiad were held in Athens, Greece. The summer games were cancelled in 1916 due to World War I, and both the summer and winter games were cancelled in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II. 1924 was the first year the winter games were held. Being selected as a host city is a tremendous honor and a tremendous undertaking. Despite the challenges of hosting the games, cities around the world vie for the honors. Host cities are typically selected about 7 years in advance. The upcoming games are: • 2014 Winter Games - Sochi, Russia • 2016 Summer Games - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil • 2018 Winter Games - Pyeongchang, South Korea • 2020 Summer Games - Currently, three cities (Istanbul, Tokyo, and Madrid) are under consideration for the 2020 Summer Games, with the winning city to be announced on September 13, 2013. The 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro will mark only the third time games will be held in the Southern Hemisphere, and the first time they will be held on the South American continent. Besides Antarctica, the only other continent yet to  host the games is Africa. London leads the list of cities to host the most Olympic games at 3, and the United States is the leading country, having hosted the games 8 times. Whether it's medal counts, or the bragging rights of host cities, the competition marches on. Let the games begin!
COUNTRY (# times hosted by Country) CITY (# times hosted by City) YEAR HELD (S=Summer) (W=Winter)
Greece (2) Athens (2) 1896-S
France (4) Paris (2) 1900-S
United States (8) St. Louis (1) 1904-S
United Kingdom (3) London (3) 1908-S
Sweden (1) Stockholm (1) 1912-S
cancelled (5) (Berlin, Germany) 1916-S
Belgium (1) Antwerp (1) 1920-S
France (4) Chamonix (1) 1924-W
France (4) Paris (2) 1924-S
Switzerland (2) St. Moritz (2) 1928-W
Netherlands (1) Amsterdam (1) 1928-S
United States (8) Lake Placid (2) 1932-W
United States (8) Los Angeles (2) 1932-S
Germany (3) Garmisch-Partenkirchen (1) 1936-W
Germany (3) Berlin (1) 1936-S
cancelled (5) (Sapporo, Japan) 1940-W
cancelled (5) (Tokyo, Japan) 1940-S
cancelled (5) (Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy) 1944-W
cancelled (5) (London, United Kingdom) 1944-S
Switzerland (2) St. Moritz (2) 1948-W
United Kingdom (3) London (3) 1948-S
Norway (2) Oslo (1) 1952-W
Finland (1) Helsinki (1) 1952-S
Italy (3) Cortina d'Ampezzo (1) 1956-W
Australia (2) Melbourne (1) 1956-S
United States (8) Squaw Valley (1) 1960-W
Italy (3) Rome (1) 1960-S
Austria (2) Innsbruck (2) 1964-W
Japan (3) Tokyo (1) 1964-S
France (4) Grenoble (1) 1968-W
Mexico (1) Mexico City (1) 1968-S
Japan (3) Sapporo (1) 1972-W
Germany (3) Munich (1) 1972-S
Austria (2) Innsbruck (2) 1976-W
Canada (3) Montreal (1) 1976-S
United States (8) Lake Placid (2) 1980-W
Soviet Union (1) Moscow (1) 1980-S
Yugoslavia (1) Sarajevo (1) 1984-W
United States (8) Los Angeles (2) 1984-S
Canada (3) Calgary (1) 1988-W
South Korea (1) Seoul (1) 1988-S
Spain (1) Barcelona (1) 1992-S
Norway (2) Lillehammer (1) 1994-W
United States (8) Atlanta (1) 1996-S
Japan (3) Nagano (1) 1998-W
Australia (2) Sydney (1) 2000-S
United States (8) Salt Lake City (1) 2002-W
Greece (2) Athens (2) 2004-S
Italy (3) Turin (1) 2006-W
China (1) Beijing (1) 2008-S
Canada (3) Vancouver (1) 2010-W
United Kingdom (3) London (3) 2012-S
  [post_title] => Olympic Games Host Cities [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => olympic-games-host-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-03 08:32:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-08-03 13:32:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [82] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4200 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-19 15:09:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-19 20:09:20 [post_content] => Long-term Health Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster A new report on the long-term global health impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as a result of the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, were released earlier this week in the journal of Energy and Environmental Science. The research study was conducted by Recent PhD graduate John Ten Hoeve and Stanford civil engineering Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, a senior fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. The report estimates that in addition to the initial 600 deaths* caused by the evacuation of the area, another 15 to 1300 deaths are possible, along with 24 to 2500 cases of cancer. Most of these are expected in Japan. While the ranges of the estimates are large, they stand in contrast to prior claims that the radioactive release following the meltdown was not expected to cause any severe health effects. Fukushima is the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, and has created a “dead zone” of several hundred square kilometers around the plant. However, while radioactive materials have been detected as far away as North America and Europe, the Pacific Ocean took the brunt of the disaster, and only 19% of the fallout was deposited over land. This has kept the number of people exposed relatively low, but certainly the exposure was not eliminated entirely. The coolest part of the research is the method applied by the researchers. They used a 3-D global atmospheric model and combined that with a standard health-effects model. The output from the use of the models reveals the majority of those affected are in Japan, with only a very small number of possible deaths (0-12) and cancer cases (30) expected in the U.S., alleviating fears for some, especially among people living along the west coast of California. Visualizing data is one of the most effective ways to draw meaningful conclusions and increase our understanding of any given situation. To that end, the researchers opted to analyze the immediate and long-term health effects of a hypothetical, yet identical nuclear disaster if it were to occur at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant near San Luis Obispo, CA. Although the population density near the Diablo Canyon plant is only about one-fourth of that in the area near the Fukushima plant, the projected health effects would be much greater due to both weather patterns and geography. A much greater percentage of the fallout would be deposited on land including very heavily populated areas such as Los Angeles and even San Diego. The researchers stressed that the long-term impacts reach well beyond health concerns alone from disasters such as Fukushima and Chernobyl.  In the Fukushima disaster, Jacobson cited other impacts such as “soil and water contamination, displacement of lives, confidence in government oversight, cost and anguish." The national, and global, debate over the continued use and development of nuclear power wages on. The U.S. is the leading producer of nuclear power, according to the World Nuclear Association:
  • The USA is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity.
  • The country's 104 nuclear reactors produced 807 billion kWh in 2010, over 20% of total electrical output.
  • Following a 30-year period in which few new reactors were built, it is expected that 4-6 new units may come on line by 2020, the first of those resulting from 16 licence applications made since mid-2007 to build 24 new nuclear reactors. However, lower gas prices since 2009 have put the economic viability of some of these projects in doubt.
  • Government policy changes since the late 1990s have helped pave the way for significant growth in nuclear capacity. Government and industry are working closely on expedited approval for construction and new plant designs.
It will be interesting to see how much or how little of this issue is raised by the political candidates in the upcoming election season. *The initial 600 deaths were reported as a result of the evacuation process itself, mostly due to fatigue and exposure among the elderly and chronically ill. [post_title] => Long-term Health Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => long-term-health-impacts-of-the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-07-20 15:09:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-07-20 20:09:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [83] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4168 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-17 11:15:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-17 16:15:23 [post_content] => Online Shopping – How Widespread is it? There is little evidence in America, and even the world for that matter, that we will outgrow this computer and Internet fad-thingy.  Instant and constant access to information has changed, and continues to change, the way we live our lives both personally and professionally. One of the many offshoots of the Internet has been the development of online shopping. Online shopping is the modern version of the age-old mail order services that gave rise to such industry giants as Sears Roebuck. If you are scratching your head and saying “Sears and who?,” you are likely a member of the younger generation! Sears not only had a thriving mail order business, but also established itself as a brick and mortar retail giant across the land, becoming the largest retailer in the U.S.  by the mid-20th century. While many of us in the older generation mourn the loss of the Sears’ catalogs, they really haven’t disappeared… they’ve just morphed into electronic catalogs. Harris Interactive, a leading custom market research firm, conducted an online poll in the fall of 2010, measuring the amount of time spent doing various activities online.  Nearly one-quarter of adults (24%) reported they have increased the amount of time they spend shopping online. The poll also revealed the increasing amount of influence online reviews and opinions shared through social media have on people’s decisions. But will all of this really make physical stores obsolete? For years Sears Roebuck thrived in both its mail order and retail store businesses. One of the biggest changes affecting Sears, was not the advent of online shopping, but rather the mass migration of Americans moving out of city centers and into vast sprawling suburban regions in the post WW2 era. Businesses are constantly adapting to the changing needs and interests of their consumers. Online shopping is the latest revolution, but many believe it can and will continue to exist alongside traditional shopping outlets. Today’s retail giants such as Walmart and Target, tailor their services to meet the needs of both arm-chair shoppers and hands-on shoppers. Take a look at the heat map below of the penetration of online shopping in the U.S. generated from one of our many databases in GeoMetrx. While online shopping clearly has a presence, and more strongly in some areas, it doesn't appear as if retail businesses are going to be boarding up their storefronts any time soon. [post_title] => Online Shopping - Heat Map Data [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => online-shopping-heat-map-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-07-18 11:15:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-07-18 16:15:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [84] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4127 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-11 16:04:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-11 21:04:44 [post_content] => Web Resources: Earth Album If you enjoy maps and photography, we have a great website for you: Earth Album. This website combines the power and detail of Google Maps with some of the most beautiful photography from around the world, courtesy of Flickr. The top images on Flickr are used, and therefore the images change every few weeks, bringing you a new experience every time you visit. There are several ways to narrow in on an area of interest. You can simply click anywhere on the map and an image thumbnail bar will appear. You can zoom in to a very specific location and click on the map (note the small yellow rectangle outlining the area of the map where pictures have been pinned). You can also select from a drop down list of famous landmarks, or enter a specific search of your own. [caption id="attachment_4129" align="aligncenter" width="653" caption="Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming • Photograph Courtesy of Peter Kovacs"][/caption] Take your time and scroll through the images on the thumbnail image bar. More popular destinations feature more pictures. You can click on the green arrow in the upper right corner of the thumbnail bar to access additional photos. The site was designed with the "armchair tourist" in mind, so take a moment now to enjoy some spectacular locations, whether you've been there, plan to go there, or just want to see the sights online. Check out images of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the beauty of the geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park such as the Grand Prismatic Spring (above), or take an online journey to Antarctica. Clicking on the images will link you to the Flickr page where the pictures are hosted. [post_title] => Earth Album [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => earth-album [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-07-11 16:16:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-07-11 21:16:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [85] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4111 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-04 10:30:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-04 15:30:56 [post_content] =>

Happy Fourth of July

!!! May the FOURTH be with you !!!

[post_title] => May the FOURTH be with you [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => may-the-fourth-be-with-you [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-07-08 05:32:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-07-08 10:32:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [86] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3965 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-07-03 11:00:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-03 16:00:55 [post_content] => GeoMetrx Data in Action: Domestic Travel Our GeoMetrx online mapping application excels in creating rich demographic reports, demographic mapping, aligning & mapping sales or franchise territories, performing market analysis, retail site selection and much more. You can use our available current year demographic datasets or upload your own company data to aggregate, compare, rank and map data on demand.   Our extensive travel industry data includes the following categories: • Domestic Travel (Traveled Last Year; 11+ Roundtrips) • Mode of Travel (Boat/Ship; Bus; Car; Plane; Railroad; RV; Other-Truck) • Cruise Ship – Areas Traveled (multiple locations) • Foreign Travel – Country Visited (multiple countries) • Foreign Travel – Reason for Trip (multiple options • Travel Agent Services Used • Hotel/Motel – Stay; Loyalty Program • Average Spent • Travel Preferences (Organized Activities; Prefer Travel Abroad; Prefer    Travel Domestic; Prefer Different Location Every Trip; and more) • Business Establishment Data and Retail Potential (Travel Services;    Hotels and Other Accomodations) Below is a heat map of the point of origin of domestic travelers last year, generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The data is depicted at the county level and population percents increase from the lighter to darker areas. Demographic data, such as population density, combined with competitive business data is an extremely useful resource for determining market potential. [post_title] => Domestic Travel Heat Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => domestic-travel-heat-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-04 16:04:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-04 21:04:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [87] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3976 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-29 10:30:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-29 15:30:38 [post_content] => Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity
Humans are curious by nature. From the moment we are born we begin to explore the world around us and as soon as we gain mobility we just keep on moving. For many, this curiosity develops into a lifelong passion to travel the world and experience life to the fullest, creating memories that last a lifetime. We travel for many reasons, both business and pleasure. Personal travel is often motivated by the desire to meet new people, reconnect with friends, spend time with loved ones, escape the daily routine, discover new things, see breathtaking vistas, gain a sense of freedom, relax, enjoy, ponder… the list is endless. Our desire to see the world has a tremendous economic impact. In 2010, the U.S. travel industry amassed $1.8 trillion in spending by domestic and international visitors; $759 billion in direct travel expenditures and another $1 trillion in other industries (Source: The U.S. Travel Association) Direct spending by travelers averaged $2 billion a day, $86.6 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute and $24,000 per second. Travel and tourism accounted for an impressive 2.7% of our nation’s 2010 GDP (gross domestic product), supporting 14 million jobs in the U.S, and it ranks among the top 10 industries in 48 states for employment.  The reach of the industry is global. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism accounts for 9% of GDP globally and supports 255 million jobs around the world, or one in 12 jobs. The WTTC expects the industry to grow about 3% in 2012, and eventually account for one out of every 10 jobs. As the U.S. economy continues pulling out of its long downturn, Jan Freitag, a senior vice president at Smith Travel Research cited a 4.1 percent gain in first-quarter hotel bookings. The number of hotel workers increased 3.2% in March, and hotel occupancy levels have reached 63.6%, which is close to the historic average. (Source: Bloomberg Business Week) U.S. travel and tourism industry data can be further divided by leisure vs. business travel, with leisure travel accounting for the lion’s share of activity. More than 1.9 billion person-trips were made in 2010.  Of those, 1.5 billion were for leisure travel, and 448 million were for business purposes. A person-trip is defined as one person traveling away from home overnight in paid accommodations or traveling to places more than 50 miles from home, one-way. The U.S. Travel Association cites the top five leisure travel activities for domestic travelers as follows: •  Visiting Relatives •  Shopping •  Visiting Friends •  Rural Sightseeing •  Beaches The broad reach of the travel and tourism industry combined with the needs and interests of the individual traveler makes it ideal for small business owners and franchisors to enter the market. Travelers come in many varieties and desire a broad spectrum of offerings. Some prefer eating and lodging at well-known national chains while others seek out local mom and pop establishments. Some prefer adventurous outdoor treks, while others opt for full-service destination resorts. Some like to repeat the same vacation year after year, while others have a long list of places they’d like to visit within their lifetime, never visiting the same location twice. The travel industry, despite its size, can be very competitive. Whether offering trip planning services, transportation, lodging, activities or other travel services, specializing in a niche market can help limit the competition. There is a vast panorama of opportunity for business owners who can combine their passion with sound business decisions and thorough market research; they have the road map to success laid out before them.
[post_title] => Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => travel-and-tourism-a-panorama-of-opportunity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-10 17:09:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-10 22:09:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [88] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4084 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-27 11:00:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-27 16:00:44 [post_content] => Web Resources: Airfare Pricing Map The cost of airfare often determines travelers’ vacation destinations. Searching for airline prices city by city can be time-consuming and simply reviewing a list of “special offer” fares can be very limiting. At GeoMetrx, we strongly believe in the power of visually mapping data, which makes this website resource,, a win-win! The cofounders of Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz started the website in 2004. Of the many features available, our favorite is the Explore tool.  KAYAK’s Explore visually maps current airfare prices around the globe. Powered by Google, the user enters the departure city from which to provide airfare prices to any destination. Additional filters are available for selecting a travel window, weather preferences, and activities available. The user can then search every continent and zoom in on particular countries, regions or even cities. Prices are displayed on the map, and when selected, a pop-up window offers further details as well as linking to a ticket pricing application. The site even offers a free mobile app that is compatible with nearly every phone platform. Check it out before your next trip, whether for pleasure or business. [post_title] => Airfare Pricing Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => airfare-pricing-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-21 22:48:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-22 03:48:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [89] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4058 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-25 01:00:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-25 06:00:12 [post_content] => Unique Travel Destinations Kicking off our travel series, we bring you some of the world’s most unique places to visit. We recently discovered a terrific website, The Atlas Obscura, which defines itself as “the definitive guidebook and friendly tour-guide to the world’s most wondrous places.” The content of the web-site is generated by users and edited by the website owners, creating “… a collaborative compendium of amazing places that aren't found in your average guidebook. If you're looking for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you'll find them.” The website can be searched in one of two ways, either by region or by category. You can even let the site choose a random place for you to learn about and potentially explore should you choose it to be your next travel destination. Sites are listed in one of the following categories: • Natural Wonders – whether wind, earth, water or fire this list of possibilities is extensive • Museums and Collections – this is a self-explanatory category, but the entries are vast and very unique • Unusual Monuments – strange statues and peculiar fountains round out this list • Miniatures – the discoveries may be tiny but this list of sites is not • Momento Mori – Latin for ‘remember your mortality’ this category include cemeteries, remnants, mummies, catcombs, crypts, and many more macabre locales • Inspired Inventions – from the musical to the scientific and everything in between, including our favorite “marvelous map”, this is one rousing category • Intriguing Environs – featuring ghost towns, optical illusions and a multitude of other mystifying spots • Cultures and Civilizations – if you enjoy local and perhaps even quirky performances, or spectating at cultural rituals, this is the category for you • Commercial Curiosities – from the most curious of knick-knack souvenirs to unique accommodations to the most bizarre of local eateries and drink holes, look no further • Architectural Oddities – creativity spans the globe as do the locations of the unique structures listed here One thing to note is that each of these wondrous places is assigned to just one category, yet sometimes just which category is the best choice is not always clear. For instance, the three-dimensional, five-block long, model of the Mississippi River on Mud Island in Memphis, TN is found in Miniatures: Small Worlds and Model Towns, rather than Intriguing Inventions: Marvelous Maps and Measures. Our advice is to really dig deep into the listings so you don’t miss any of the “World’s Wonders, Curiosities, and Estorica.” And last but not least, if you know of a curious place, you’re encouraged to add it to the atlas.   [post_title] => Unique Travel Destinations [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => unique-travel-destinations [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-21 01:58:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-21 06:58:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [90] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4047 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-21 10:00:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-21 15:00:08 [post_content] => This past April marked the two-year ‘anniversary’ of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, when the offshore drilling rig being leased by BP exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana. The disaster resulted in 4.9 million barrels of oil being spewed into the Gulf of Mexico over a period of nearly three months, and covering an area roughly the size of Oklahoma. This was, unarguably, the worst oil disaster in U.S. history. The methods used to stop the spill, along with the clean-up efforts that followed, have met with much criticism. The long-lasting effects of the spill are under no less scrutiny and debate. BP maintains that it has gone to a lot of effort to help people affected by the disaster as fisherman are fishing again, offshore drilling is slowly coming back on line, beaches are open and the Gulf Coast economy has surpassed itself prior to the accident. However, not everyone agrees that all is well as many who live along the gulf-shore complain of health issues caused by the spill and the ensuing clean-up efforts.  The Government Accountability Project (GAP) found that the cleanup workers have also suffered a long list of health issues. Reports of deformed seafood are raising great concerns for scientists and fishermen as the long-term effects on marine life are far from known. When the oil leak was finally capped in September of 2010, Samantha Joye, a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, reported that a substantial layer of oily sediment stretched dozens of miles in all directions. Subsequent research has revealed the thickness of the layer to be much greater than originally thought. While the Gulf Shore continues to recover, there is no argument that the Deepwater Horizon disaster caused immense damage to marine and wildlife habitats and to the Gulf's fishing and tourism industries. Just how far into the future the impact will be felt remains unknown. The U.S. Travel Association estimated that the economic impact of the oil spill on tourism across the Gulf Coast over a three-year period could exceed approximately $23 billion, in a region that supports over 400,000 travel industry jobs generating $34 billion in revenue annually. Many marine populations may continue to suffer the effects of the disaster for years to come, especially those populations that take years to reach maturity such as tuna. How the spill will affect future generations is not known. Crab fishermen in the area claim that many of the crabs they catch come up dead, discolored and riddled with holes. The disaster has had a significant impact on the real estate market along the Gulf Shore as well. [post_title] => Deepwater Horizon: Continuing Impact [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => deepwater-horizon-continuing-impact [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-07-11 16:15:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-07-11 21:15:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [91] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4034 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-19 14:00:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-19 19:00:50 [post_content] => GeoMetrx Data in Action: Pest Control It’s certainly been a warmer than average spring across much of the U.S., and add to that a mild winter for much of the country as well, and you have ideal conditions for a very buggy summer.  According to Ron Harrison, an entomologist with Orkin, “the mild winter in most areas did not kill many of the pests or reduce their populations, and then the real warm spring, which we're experiencing, has triggered their development” (source: A survey of more than 1,300 homeowners, conducted by Home Team Pest Defense, a residential pest control company, found that 84% of homeowners have had pest problems in the last year, and just over half (51%) think it is essential to use professional pest control services (source: The survey also reported that while 54% of homeowners attempted to treat pest problems on their own, over two-thirds of those were unable to completely resolve their issues. When looking for a pest control company, the top two priorities cited by homeowners are a company that guarantees its work (95%), and the use of treatments that are not harmful to children and pets (80%). Bugs and critters are everywhere, affording pest control companies the opportunity to establish businesses throughout the country. Warmer climates, as well as highly populated areas, reveal a higher demand for the use of professional exterminators and pest control services. The heat map below, from GeoMetrx, depicts the usage of these services in the U.S. (lower 48 states).  GeoMetrx can also yield competitor locations and help pest control franchisors to establish, develop and maintain strategically aligned franchise territories. [post_title] => Pest Control Heat Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => pest-control-heat-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-17 13:55:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-17 18:55:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [92] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4022 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-15 14:27:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-15 19:27:06 [post_content] => Franchising Opportunities: Pest Control The pest control industry provides a variety of services to homeowners and businesses, such as locating, identifying, destroying, catching, controlling and repelling pests. These services are provided in a variety of ways including applying chemicals, installing physical barriers, and setting traps. Some pest control service companies cater to the humanitarian customer base by capturing and releasing critters back into the wild. The U.S. pest control industry generated an estimated $11 billion last year, as reported by IBISWorld, the largest independent publishers of U.S. industry research. The report, released in April 2012, reveals the industry has grown an average of 2.9% over the last 5 years. Over 21,500 business establishments provide nearly 110,700 jobs. Most of these are small firms with only a few employees, while there are several national giants as well, such as Terminix (part of ServiceMaster) and Orkin (a subsidiary of Rollins). These larger companies benefit from brand recognition as well as national advertising, and offer franchise opportunities. Smaller companies have the advantage of providing high-quality personal service and growing customer loyalty. As the economy continues to recover, the housing market is recovering as well. This alone is increasing demand from homeowners for regular inspections and treatments of termites and other pests. Hotel and restaurant industry standards and regulations are also creating increased demand for pest control services. The recent uptick in bed bug outbreaks has further propelled the demand for professional services. Whether opting to start a franchise or your own business, the pest control industry has relatively easy market entry, though training and licensing is required before offering services to customers, particularly those that involve the application of chemicals and other pesticides. Watch for our next post featuring a Professional Exterminator Usage heat map and the expected impact of this season’s warmer than average temperatures. [post_title] => Pest Control - Industry Overview [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => pest-control-industry-overview [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-15 17:27:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-15 22:27:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [93] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3998 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-13 13:30:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-13 18:30:22 [post_content] => Web Resources:  Mobile & Desktop Maps Have you ever needed to find a location on Google Maps using just latitude and longitude coordinates? It can be tricky if you don’t enter the information in just the right format.  Or perhaps you’ve needed to know the coordinates of a particular location or address? Well, we have discovered a great online resource with an interactive lat/long feature you’re sure to appreciate at Simply enter an address and get the lat/long of any point. Conversely, you can enter your lat/long coordinates whether in decimal format or in degrees, minutes and seconds and see the location pinpointed on Google Maps. has a variety of other handy utilities as well. The map tool utilizes full search functionality for addresses, cities, points of interest, businesses and organizations. At any time you can relocate the yellow “stickman” to the center of the current map view, a very handy feature. The map also includes additional viewing options such as Streetview and Traffic, effectively creating a hybrid between Google Maps and Google Earth. Streetview, when selected, displays a street level image to the left of the map that changes as the location marker is relocated. The Traffic view displays real time construction, lane closures, accidents and other impediments, with the time of onset to the expected-to-end time. Driving directions are available in five different languages: English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Another handy feature of the website is the ability to measure distances. If you run, bike, or walk and want to know how much ground you covered, it’s easy to calculate. Enter your starting point and then click on the map to add additional points. Once points are placed they can be adjusted simply by clicking and dragging the markers. If you’ve ever been curious about the distance of the perimeter around the New York City Central Park Reservoir, wonder no more, it is just under 1.6 miles. If you love maps as much as we do, visit and have fun exploring! But remember, when you need the power of data to enhance your mapping, GeoMetrx has you covered. Call 1.888.848.4436 for more information, or schedule a free online demo at a time that fits your schedule. [post_title] => Mobile & Desktop Maps [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mobile-desktop-maps [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-10 17:37:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-10 22:37:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [94] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3944 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-11 11:00:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-11 16:00:31 [post_content] => Facts & Figures:  Geography Lists Looking for a fun book to read this summer? We’ve discovered a must have for any true geography buff, “The Largest U.S. Cities Named After a Food: and Other Mind-Boggling Geography Lists from Around the World” published by Santa Monica Press.  The book contains more than 500 lists of geographic trivia including topics such as ‘Strange U.S. Place Names’ (Boogertown, Buzz, Tightwad, etc.); ‘Ten Largest Countries without Railroads’; ‘Most Extreme Locations’; ‘Ten Most Populous Countries without a McDonalds’; and ‘Most Tomatoes per Capita’, just to name a few. The namesake list of the book along with its intro is as follows: Despite America's love affair with food, not that many cities are named after food. Fruits are the most commonly used food in city names, while meats are rarely used. Somehow, “Porktown” just doesn’t seem like an appealing place to live. This book was published in November 2004, and as statistics are very fluid, some of the lists, such as countries without any FM radio stations, have become obsolete.  All 192 independent nations are now reported to have at least one FM station, even Vatican City, the smallest nation in the world.  Other lists, such as weird place names are less likely to change. The author, Brandt Maxwell, regularly updates his website and adds bonus lists available only online. The most recent list was added on May 8, 2012 and catalogs ‘Countries That Don’t Use Coins.’ None are in the Americas, but can you guess them before following this link for the answers? And remember to check in again in a few days when the next online mystery list is posted on June 16th. [post_title] => Geography Lists For Fun [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => geography-lists-for-fun [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-04 13:13:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-04 18:13:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [95] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3932 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-07 01:20:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-07 06:20:35 [post_content] => Understanding Latitude and Longitude The map grid system of coordinates, latitude and longitude, can pinpoint any location on earth. The system was developed back in the middle ages and is still in use today. When looking at a map, latitude lines (also referred to as parallels) run parallel to the equator while longitude lines (also referred to as meridians) run perpendicular. If you find yourself forgetting which is which, think of latitude as the rungs of a ladder (“ladder-tude”). To precisely locate points on the earth’s surface, latitude and longitude are divided into degrees (°). Degrees are further divided into minutes (') and seconds ("). There are 60 minutes in each degree; 60 seconds in each minute, and seconds can be further divided into tenths, hundredths, or even thousandths The equator is located exactly halfway between the north and south poles, dividing the earth into the northern and southern hemispheres, and thus is the baseline for latitude, denoted as 0° Latitude. Latitudes are imaginary lines that circle the earth horizontally and are stacked on top of one another, each one having a smaller diameter until finally reaching the north and south poles at 90°N and 90°S. Latitudes north of the equator are also written as positive values, while latitudes south of the equator are written as negative values (North Pole = 90°; South Pole = -90°). The baseline for longitude is located along the prime meridian, an imaginary line that runs atop the British Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England from the North Pole to the South Pole, and is denoted as 0° Longitude. Unlike latitude, longitude lines are only half circles, running vertically between the two poles, each being equal in length. Longitudes east of the prime meridian are written as 0 to 180°E or as positive values, while latitudes west of the prime meridian are written as 0 to 180°W or as negative values. So why then are the degrees further divided into minutes and seconds, besides providing the ability to precisely pinpoint a location? Well, longitude is also an important tool in measuring time. The earth makes one complete rotation on its axis approximately every 24 hours. The earth turns about 15° of longitude, or 1/24th of 360°, every hour. The world’s time zones are generally divided into 15° of longitude and the time in each zone is based on its distance from the prime meridian. [post_title] => Understanding Latitude and Longitude [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => understanding-latitude-and-longitude [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-04 17:14:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-04 22:14:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [96] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3899 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-05 10:30:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-05 15:30:46 [post_content] => U.S. Child Population Density Map Children's interests are broad. Parents are constantly looking for new avenues of exploration to fuel their offsprings' natural inquisitiveness and enthusiasm. With the large variety of children's enrichment franchise opportunities currently available, a thorough market analysis can help determine which activities are abundant in a market and which are lacking a substantial presence. As this industry continues to burgeon, introducing new and innovative services for children is limited only by one's imagination. Below is a density map of the population count of children (ages 0-17) in the lower 48 states generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The population counts increase from the lighter to darker areas. Demographic data, such as population density, combined with competitive business data is an extremely useful resource for determining market potential. Successful franchisors utilize these data and mapping tools to create highly refined territories, which is important in both sparsely and densely populated areas. The location of competitors can be overlaid on the map and enhanced by distance and drive-time radiuses. Being able to visualize data geographically, rather than merely presented in tables and charts, allows for a greater understanding of market opportunities and risks. [post_title] => U.S. Child Population Density Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-child-population-density-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-01 15:50:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-01 20:50:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [97] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3871 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-06-01 11:02:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-06-01 16:02:02 [post_content] => Children's Enrichment Franchises

Across the nation, the last school bells of the year are ringing and kids are celebrating the arrival of summer break. Swimming pools, park outings, ball games, summer camps, backyard barbecues and so much more await them. On average, kids are out of school for 6 to 12 weeks and parents are scrambling to finalize their children’s summer activities schedules while balancing the child’s interests with the family budget. Fortunately there are many children’s enrichment franchises in operation offering parents and kids a wide variety of choices. The growing number of children in the U.S. keeps this industry among the top franchise trends in America, and not just during the summer, but all year-round.

The number of children in the U.S. has been steadily rising since the mid-1980s and is projected to continue well into the future. By the year 2030, it is expected the number of children under 18 will reach nearly 88 million.

Further driving demand for summertime activities as well as extracurricular activities during the school year is the number of households with working parents. In 2010, the estimate for the number of households with children under 18 reached 35.2 million. The following pie charts reflect the employment status in two-parent married households and single-parent households.

The most common categories for children’s enrichment franchises are: • Art Programs: painting, cooking, music, drama, photography, etc.Education / Tutoring: mathematics, science, technology, early childhood development, foreign languages, etc.Sports and Fitness: sports clubs, dance, martial arts, children’s gyms, etc. Traditionally businesses offering child enrichment programs operate from a fixed location with families providing transportation to and from the activity venue. However, a growing trend in the industry is the advent of mobile activities, in which the main program or supplementary programs are brought to the children in after-school care programs, day care facilities, summer resident programs and more. Whether operating from a fixed location, providing a mobile activity or offering private instruction, the opportunities are boundless. (For a comprehensive list of children's products and services franchise opportunities visit

Working with children can be a very rewarding experience, yet it’s not for everyone. It takes a special mix of business and personal skills including patience, flexibility, a sense of fun and wonderment, empathy, and a lot of energy!  Finding the right franchise opportunity is also a special mix combining the business owner’s skills and interests with the best opportunities within a market. The GeoMetrx business database, along with our demographic data, can help franchisors evaluate territories to reveal the competitive landscape, market size and ROI potential. Whether expanding into new markets or realigning existing territories, it's vital in today’s economy to map your success.

[post_title] => Summertime Fun: Children's Enrichment Franchises [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => summertime-fun-childrens-enrichment-franchises [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-06-01 11:02:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-06-01 16:02:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [98] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3811 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-30 12:38:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-30 17:38:37 [post_content] =>
Web Resources: Word Cloud Generators
  Turning data into a visual representation is a highly effective way to communicate concepts and share information. We typically think of a map as a representation of geographical information, but we can also “map” data. Today’s blog is about mapping words by creating word clouds, also known as tag clouds or text clouds. Word clouds are an ideal way to visualize the key words of any piece of writing. The more frequently a word appears in the writing, the larger and bolder it appears in the word cloud. The interactive word cloud below was created from this blog post using Tagul.

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Word Clouds can be used in presentations, as images on a website or perhaps a cover photo for a social media site. Some businesses have them printed in large format* for display in the office or reception area, or on other promotional items such as shirts, bags, mugs, etc. Word Clouds can be created from reports, lists, product reviews, customer feedback, twitter feeds, blogs, newletters and more. Start opening your mind to the possibilities and get creative! Three very customizable and free online word cloud resources are: Tagul ( This tool allows the user a tremendous amount of control over the final result from selecting font colors to case preference to individual word inclusion/exclusion. Interactive images can be embedded on web pages. Tagul requires you to create a free account in order to access the service. Maintaining an account allows you to save and edit word clouds. Wordle ( This tool allows the user to control colors, fonts and layouts, though it does not generate shapes.  You can also delete individual words directly from the cloud image. You can print your images or save them in a gallery to share with others. Tagxedo ( This tool has a large selection of shapes as well as the ability to upload a custom shape. Control over colors and fonts is somewhat limited. There are many other online word cloud and imaging tools. What are some of your favorites? *For Large Format Printing visit our GeoPrinter service website. [post_title] => Word Cloud Generators [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => word-cloud-generators [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-30 12:40:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-30 17:40:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [99] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3765 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-25 13:21:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-25 18:21:12 [post_content] =>
Geography in the News: Space Taxis

The reality of vacations to outer space and checking in at a hotel on the moon is closer than one might think, though some of the first private businesses to operate in the ‘final frontier’ are likely to be International Space Station taxi services and those harvesting rare metals from asteroids. This past week marks a new and historic step forward in the exploration of space. As we speak, the first private spacecraft is preparing to link with the International Space Station. The unmanned SpaceX Dragon launched Tuesday, May 22nd, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is carrying a payload of 674 pounds of food, clothing and supplies, along with additional supplies for science experiments, cargo bags for future flights and computer equipment. After remaining attached to the space station for two weeks, it will return to Earth bringing with it science experiments, hardware and used gear.

What does this mean for the future? NASA Administrator Charles Bolden sees this is as a step toward a new future of private innovation in the space industry. It has taken more than six years of preparation to pave the way for commercial flights to link the space station. With the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle fleet last year, the US is dependent on the Russian space agency to transport U.S. astronauts and supplies to and from the space station. Bolden stated, "What's really important is not control, as much as it is the fact that the United States will once again be in the lead, will be providing our own vehicles to take our own astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station. It's fine to rely on partners, but that's not where the greatest nation in the world wants to be."

[caption id="attachment_3772" align="alignleft" width="259" caption="SpaceX Dragon capsule was securely bolted to Harmony module of International Space Station at 12:02 p.m. EDT. Photo Courtesy of"][/caption] Backed by entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, SpaceX is one of several companies receiving funds from NASA to develop a space taxi system. "I hope and I believe that this mission will be historic in marking that turning point towards a rapid advancement in space transportation technology," said Musk. The company hopes to build a spacecraft to carry astronauts to Mars. Other companies participating in NASA’ Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program include Orbital Sciences Corporation, Blue Origin, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada. Another company, ATK (Alliant Techsystems Inc.) is developing plans to launch humans into orbit by 2015. As private industries gain a foothold in the space program by providing cargo services to NASA, it allows them to fund projects with much greater goals including space ‘vacations’ for paying tourists, mining asteroids for rare elements, and even human colonization of space.  Celestis, Inc. has already found a business opportunity in space – for $2,995 families can launch 1 gram of the cremated remains of their loved ones into the universe. The rocket used to launch the SpaceX Dragon carried the remains of more than 300 deceased individuals into outer space on Tuesday. Among them were James Doohan, best known as Scotty on Star Trek and Gordon Cooper, one of the famous Mercury seven astronauts who was portrayed by Dennis Quaid in The Right Stuff. To keep up with all the developments of the Dragon, visit NASA’s website. [post_title] => Space Taxis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => space-taxis [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-25 15:34:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-25 20:34:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [100] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3723 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-22 08:13:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-22 13:13:40 [post_content] =>
GeoMetrx Data In Action: Public Transportation
  Each month the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) publishes the Transit Savings Report. This report calculates the average monthly savings for individuals in a two-person household who ride public transportation instead of driving a car. The report factors in the costs of owning a vehicle, the national average gas price, the national unreserved monthly parking rate, and the average cost of a monthly public transit pass. The most recent report released on May 10, 2012 indicates the usage of public transportation can save, on average, $823 this month, which adds up to $9,880 annually. That’s some big savings for those who are able to take advantage of the opportunity. Taking the train or bus to work is much easier to manage for residents in densely populated cities such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco. In many other metro areas, utilizing public transportation requires more careful planning and for many the cost savings are not worth the headache. The map below depicts the percent of adults (U.S. Pop 18+) who have used public transportation in the last 30 days. According to the APTA:      •  In 2011, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation      •  35 million times each weekday, people board public transportation      •  Public transportation is a $54 billion industry that employs more than 400,000 people      •  Access to bus and rail lines reduces driving by 4,400 miles per household annually      •  Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 785 million hours in travel         time and 640 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone The need for additional and improved public transportation in America is fueled by rising gas prices, increasing population, and congested roadways. Our collective desire to be more conscious of our impact on the environment also plays a role in many public policy debates. What local public transportation initiatives are present in your market? Is your local and state government doing enough, too much or do they have it just about right? [post_title] => Public Transportation: The Savings Add Up [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => public-transportation-the-savings-add-up [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-24 08:13:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-24 13:13:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [101] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3656 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-18 10:25:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-18 15:25:58 [post_content] =>
Honda Unveils UNI-CUB
  Getting from Point A to Point B is something we do all day, every day without much thought. We navigate the halls of our homes, half awake each morning as we prepare for the day. We slip behind the wheel of our car and drive to the office, the store, church, and a myriad of other destinations. Some of us rely on public transportation, or pedal around town on a bicycle. Motorcycles, scooters and even riding horseback are alternative modes of transportation. And once we are at our destination, most of us get around on foot whether in a shop, an office or really just about anywhere, with the exception of those who need assistance for medical reasons. A little over a decade ago, we saw the advent of the Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered, electric vehicle invented by Dean Kamen and manufactured by Segway Inc. The Segway has met with mixed reactions and while initially banned from sidewalk use in many states, all but a few municipalities now allow them. The main concern of their usage is the safety of other pedestrians. Segways have a max speed of 12.5 mph, which is about three times faster than the average pedestrian. Others saw the invention as one more excuse to get less exercise than we already do. Segways are most commonly used by security companies, police departments, and tour groups. Overall, the concept has not really taken off, which is due in large part to the public perception that people riding them appear to be "smug" and "lazy." Despite these market barriers, Honda has just unveiled the new UNI-CUB "... a personal mobility device, designed for harmony with people. Featuring a compact design and comfortable saddle, UNI-CUB offers the same freedom of movement in all directions that a person enjoys while walking."  This device has a top speed of 6km/h (3.7mph), about the same speed the average person walks. Furthermore, it's designed so the user is situated about halfway between someone standing and someone seated in a normal chair.  Hmmm, wouldn't it be just as easy to walk? And given all the recent focus on obesity and the need to walk more, not less, how popular will these become? Watch this promotional video and tell us what you think.   [post_title] => Remember When We Used to Walk Everywhere? Honda Unveils UNI-CUB [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => remember-when-we-used-to-walk-everywhere-honda-unveils-uni-cub [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-16 21:30:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-17 02:30:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [102] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3634 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-16 13:51:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-16 18:51:50 [post_content] =>
Web Resources: U.S. State Maps
  At Geographic Enterprises, we love maps. All of our services and applications are geared toward ‘mapping your success’ with our many online mapping resources. • GeoMetrx – Our web-based territory mapping software platform that allows you to dynamically aggregate, compare, rank, and map thousands of preloaded attributes along with your own proprietary data so that you can load and analyze it on demand, all without the need to install or maintain any local software. • GeoPrinter – Our Custom Wall Map and Large Format Graphics Printing service providing you the ability to select your own custom design area, or upload your existing CAD drawings and business graphics printed in high resolution on large format media, and shipped as soon as the next day. • GIS4Less – GIS Software, GIS Data, and GIS Services for Less offering you desktop mapping and custom map web services. Whenever we find other online mapping resources we like to share them as well. Today we are featuring This website hosts a wide array of U.S. State Map views including: City; County; Rivers & Lakes; Physical; Satellite; and Road. Check it out! [post_title] => Mapping Your Success: Online Mapping Resources [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mapping-your-success-online-mapping-resources [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-16 13:51:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-16 18:51:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [103] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3586 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-10 14:23:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-10 19:23:29 [post_content] =>
Geography in the News: Wind Farms
  Mention ‘wind farming’ and you are likely to whip up a debate faster than Dorothy’s house was whisked away in The Wizard of Oz!  Wind is generally considered to be the second largest renewable energy source behind solar, and the use of wind turbines is the most common method of harnessing the kinetic energy of wind. However, while wind power is a popular alternative to fossil fuels, coal and nuclear energy, the construction of wind farms to harness this vast resource is not wholly welcomed; wind power has its pros and cons. Advantages of Wind Power: (Source: Energy  Wind turbines generate clean electricity. The motion of the wind turns the blades, which then spins a shaft that leads to a generator, which turns the energy into electricity. Wind turbines simply transfer energy from one medium to another without generating harmful CO2 in the process. Wind is renewable and available in virtually every reach of the planet. Without getting into a science lesson, we can thank the sun for this – as long as the sun continues to shine there will be wind. Costs are decreasing rapidly due to technological advances, though some areas are more financially viable for developing wind farms than others. Increased demand for renewable energy is further driving down costs. Residential systems and DIY wind power kits are increasingly affordable and available. Individuals have a greater potential than ever before to become energy self-sufficient. Disadvantages of Wind Power: (Source: Energy Wind is unpredictable and until further technological advances are made in energy storage, wind power is not as reliable as other energy sources. The development of wind farms is an expensive proposition. Nearly 80% of the cost is in machinery, with the remaining 20% being site preparation and installation. Incentives are often required for wind farms to be built. While technological advancements are resulting in quieter turbines, noise pollution is a chief complaint from residents who live near wind farms. The aesthetics of wind farms is also a negative for many people. (While building wind farms in low-density population areas is one compromise, off-shore wind farms are a much better alternative; Off-shore wind farms not only eliminate noise and visual pollution, they also benefit from strong and more stable winds.) The impact on wildlife is also a concern as flying creatures, such as birds and bats, don’t mix well with spinning rotor blades. Many feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, yet if the wind blows the next wind farm project in your direction you may be whistling another tune. Windmills often conjure up images of Don Quixote attacking his imaginary giant enemies, and for those who live within sight of wind farms, their sentiments towards modern day wind turbines are probably much the same. Where will the future take us? Can your business benefit from becoming energy independent? Should individual businesses and home-owners install smaller and less unsightly wind turbines? Should wind farms remain in concentrated areas? Should wind farms remain off-shore? What if off-shore is in the Great Lakes and interferes with natural vistas? A great debate is raging among five states on that very topic (click here to learn more). The answers to these questions and many more, my friend, are blowing in the wind. [post_title] => Blowing in the Wind: The Pros and Cons of Wind Farms [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => blowing-in-the-wind-the-pros-and-cons-of-wind-farms [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-11 16:23:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-11 21:23:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [104] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3575 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-08 15:06:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-08 20:06:34 [post_content] =>
Gardening: A Growing Hobby
  In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we often seek refuge in our hobbies and interests in hopes of maintaining balance and finding purpose. Gardening has long been a favorite leisure time activity for many Americans, allowing us to reconnect with nature and providing many a sense of peace and harmony with the world. A fast growing trend in gardening is the participation of the younger generation taking part in home and community gardening projects. According to Dr. Charlie Hall, Professor of Horticulture at Texas A&M, “Gen Y’s are embracing a connection with plants based on economics, environmental impact, health and wellness,” as reported by the Garden Media Group in their latest Garden Trends Report. GMG’s research also shows that vegetable gardening has increased by 20% and community gardening by 60% over last year. In 2010, the average household spent $600 on their yards and gardens. Below is a heat map of gardening across the lower 48 generated from our GeoMetrx mapping application. The dark green areas show the highest concentration of leisure gardeners. What’s of particular note is that every county across the country has some level of participation ranging from 13.6% to 55% of the population. [post_title] => Gardening: A Growing Hobby [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => gardening-a-growing-hobby [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-08 18:06:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-08 23:06:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [105] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3559 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-04 17:12:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-04 22:12:20 [post_content] =>
The Growing Locavore Movement: A Ripe Opportunity
  Whether you tout the philosophy of the locavore movement or stand behind the economic theory of free trade, your defenders as well as your detractors will be on hand, ready and willing to share their opinion. Yet, no matter which side of the debate you are on, one fact cannot be denied - the locavore movement is growing, and the opportunties for entrepreneurs are ripe. Based on research conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, the movement was estimated to have generated $4.8 billion in sales in 2008, and it is projected that locally grown foods will generate nearly $7 billion in sales in 2012. It's a movement that is gradually reshaping the economics of the agriculture industry and spurring a revival of small farms, something many thought would never happen. Prior to WWII, nearly two out of five Americans lived on farms and food was locally grown and marketed. Rarely was food transported further than a day’s distance. After WWII our infrastructure expanded greatly, transportation costs decreased and refrigeration became more accessible. These changes allowed meats and produce to be transported greater distances at competitive prices. The increasing eco-conscious focus on sustainability has fueled the locavore movement and caused a major shift in how food is being grown and sold in America. The term locavore was introduced in 2005 on World Environment Day when four women in Northern California kicked-off a month-long dietary challenge “Celebrate Your Foodshed: Eat Locally”, and began calling themselves “locavores.” A locavore is someone who either exclusively or primarily eats foods from their local or regional foodshed. There is no single definition of what defines a local foodshed as distances vary regionally and are also impacted by population density; yet many locavores use a 100-mile radius as a general guide. Produce sold within 24 hours of harvest is usually considered local as well. In comparison, mass-market food items consumed in the U.S. travel an average of 1,300 to 2,000 miles from farm to store according to ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. Locavores have a wide variety of beliefs in support of the movement. In the minds of many, local foods are those that come from small farms that have developed social and economic relationships within the local community. A national study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute in 2009 uncovered the top three reasons for participation cited by consumers: • 82% - freshness of the products • 75% - support for the local economy • 58% - knowing the source of the product While pinpointing exactly how many people are joining the locavore movement is difficult, there are many signs that it’s gaining mainstream attention. Nearly 80% of respondents in a 2006 national survey said they occasionally to always purchased fresh produce directly from growers (Source: USDA, ERR-97 May 2010). Increased demand is creating opportunities for farmers and growers to expand their marketing channels. Local foods are being sold through farmer’s markets, roadside stands, winter markets, food co-ops, CSAs (community supported agricultural groups), supermarkets, specialty stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools and more. There are numerous public programs and policies that support local food initiatives and provide financing for local food systems. An example is the farm-to-school programs in which some or all of the produce needs of the school cafeteria are met by nearby farms. The National Farm to School Network, which began with just a handful of farm-to-school programs in the late 90’s, and climbed to 1,000 in 2005, is now estimated to have reached 2,518 programs as of 2012. Farmers Markets are increasing in numbers across the nation as well. According to the USDA, there were 7,175 farmers markets in 2011, a 17% increase from 2010. Large retailers are yielding shelf space to meet consumer demand for locally grown foods. Stores such as Walmart, Safeway, Meijer and Weis Markets are participating in local food initiatives. Local restaurants are meeting the demands of their patrons to provide local foods as well. According to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 89% of fine-dining and nearly 30% of fast food operators served locally sourced items in 2008; while both believed these items would become more popular, 90% and nearly 50%, respectively. In St. Louis, Missouri an innovative partnership is bringing “Mobile Markets” to commuters using public transportation for the March-October growing season. Whatever the motivation of individual locavores, the movement is gaining momentum and the opportunities for entrepreneurs are ripe, whether choosing to enter the market by starting a small urban farm, becoming an intermediary, selling direct-to-consumer, or any of the other numerous entry points. As always, any market entry or expansion should be backed by thorough research to develop a solid strategy. [post_title] => The Growing Locavore Movement: A Ripe Opportunity [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-growing-locavore-movement-a-ripe-opportunity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-05-04 17:12:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-05-04 22:12:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [106] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3531 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-05-02 10:45:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-02 15:45:12 [post_content] =>
Web Resources: Franchise Times Spring/Summer 2012 Superbook
  The Spring/Summer 2012 SuperBook of Franchise Opportunities, published by Franchise Times is out. This free resource is available in digital format online, putting a substantial amount of information at the fingertips of anyone interested in the franchising industry.

The SuperBook includes a comprehensive list of franchise opportunities ranging from Automotive Services to Retail Businesses, and everything in between. Additionally, the SuperBook contains advice columns covering topics such as site selection, how to read a franchise disclosure document (FDD), and some ‘do’s-and don’ts’ every franchisee should review. Also inside, you’ll find a glossary of terms and an upcoming events calendar.

Franchise Times is a leading news and information source for the franchising industry, publishing 10 issues each year. The company provides a variety of directories including financing, vendors, and legal resources (see the annual April issue). Other publications include the Restaurant Finance Monitor and Foodservice News. [post_title] => Franchise Times Spring/Summer 2012 SuperBook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => franchise-times-springsummer-2012-superbook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-30 15:42:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-30 20:42:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [107] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3487 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-26 13:45:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-26 18:45:17 [post_content] =>
Earth Day 2012: NASA Unveils Update "State of Flux" Website
  Earth Day 2012, which is observed each year on April 22nd, took place this past weekend and was marked by celebrations around the world. Earth Day is an opportunity for environmentally conscious groups and organizations to raise ecological awareness locally, nationally and globally. Even NASA made the most of the day by unveiling an updated version of its sensational photo gallery, “State of Flux” on its Global Climate Change website, for which it won a Webby Award-Science in 2010. The images, taken mostly from space, offer a visual tour of the transformations that have taken place on our ever-changing planet over periods of time ranging from just days to centuries. Images are paired together to show the before-and-after impact of change. More than 160 comparison views are posted depicting extreme events, such as wildfires and floods, the effects of the retreating glaciers, our human impact including urban expansion and population growth, and more. The images are organized by categories and can be sorted and searched. Of course, we think the best new feature of the upgraded site is the map view, which puts the images in geographical context. This interactive feature allows visitors to select a region or zoom in to a specific location to see where specific changes are occurring. Below is an example of one the high-resolution image sets that can be shared or downloaded: [caption id="attachment_3488" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Delta restoration, Louisiana Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana. Left: January 13, 1983. Right: January 2, 2011. The delta, where the Atchafalaya River flows into the Gulf of Mexico, was formed by sediment following the construction of a canal through Wax Lake in 1941. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the delta has served as a model for restoring wildlife habitat and protection against storm surge in the Mississippi River delta region. mages taken by the Thematic Mapper sensors aboard Landsat 4 and 5. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey."][/caption] Amber Jenkins, editor of the Global Climate Change website, who established the gallery in 2009, says, "Seeing our planet from space gives us a global view that we can't get elsewhere. It underscores how fragile and interconnected our planet is, and how it is constantly changing. With this new version of the gallery, we want people to be better able to immerse themselves in the images, and gain that sense of perspective." For more on NASA's Earth Science activities, visit: [post_title] => Earth Day 2012: NASA Unveils Updated "State of Flux" Website [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => earth-day-2012-nasa-unveils-updated-state-of-flux-website [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-25 00:17:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-25 05:17:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [108] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3460 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-24 14:18:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-24 19:18:33 [post_content] =>
Baby Boomers on the Move
  At the conclusion of World War II, the United States experienced an explosion of births for nearly two decades, as more than 76 million Americans were born between 1946 and 1964.  Improved living conditions, medical care and disease control have all contributed to greater life expectancies and, as a result, the Boomers are projected to live an average of seven years longer than previous generations. The impact of the aging Baby Boomer generation on our economy will be enormous. As Boomers reach retirement age they don’t plan to simply find the nearest rocker and watch the world go by, but rather to remain active both in the workforce and the community.  The communities in which they choose to live are expected to prosper; and opportunities to provide products and services that will appeal to this generation will be plentiful. Del Webb, a leading brand of communities for active adults (age 55+), conducted its most recent Baby Boomer Survey in 2010. The survey covered many topics including where retiring Boomers intend to settle.  The top states my surprise you:
50 Yr Olds 64 Yr Olds
South Carolina 20% North Carolina 19%
North Carolina 16% South Carolina 16%
Florida 15% Florida 15%
Tennessee 9% Tennessee 12%
Arizona 8% Virginia 10%
California 8% Arizona 6%
Virginia 8% California 6%
The survey also tracked the motivations for moving to a particular location:
How important are each of the following in deciding where you will move (amongst those who plan to move)? 50 Yr Olds 64 Yr Olds
Cost of living there 81% 81%
Access to preferred health care programs 66% 70%
Cultural/recreational amenities offered 61% 59%
More favorable climate 60% 59%
Community/networking opportunities 54% 53%
Being close to children 46% 49%
Being close to grandchildren 38% 45%
Being close to parents/in-laws 30% 14%
We have created a heat map of the Adult 65+ population based on 2011 U.S. Census Projections using GeoMetrx. It's important to know where today's opportunities are as well as to track the migration of the Baby Boomers as they transition into retirement age. Our mapping tool and data can provide a wealth of information both nationally and locally. Uploading additional data for mapping is an even more powerful advantage. Call us today at 1.888.848.4436 for more information or request a demo online.
[post_title] => Baby Boomers on the Move [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => baby-boomers-on-the-move [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-24 20:19:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-25 01:19:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [109] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3450 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-20 17:02:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-20 22:02:31 [post_content] =>
Home Health Care: The Aging of America
  The fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is the 65+ age group.  By the year 2030, it is projected that one out of every five Americans, 70 million people, will be over the age of 65. As the “boomers” continue to age, this figure is expected to reach as high as 88.5 million. Kids born today will just be reaching adulthood in 2030. How will our changing population affect their career choices and options? One thing is for certain, there will be many more opportunities in the senior care industry, including both products and services such as:
Housing Pharmaceuticals Financial Services
Home care Medical equipment Insurance
Home safety Personal healthcare Legal Services
Mobility Physical therapy
According to Franchise Help, home health care is the largest segment of the senior care industry among franchises, both medical and non-medical.  The most common medical services provided are private nursing, administering antibiotics and rehabilitation assistance. Non-medical services most often include aiding seniors with chores, preparing meals, overseeing medication schedules, bathing and general companionship.  First Research estimates that US home health care is a $57 billion industry. As much of the financing for seniors is provided by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, all of which must function under set prices, businesses compete on quality, reputation, referrals and other subjective measures rather than price. Companies that excel at putting people, processes and systems together to provide top notch customer care and a positive customer experience will have ample opportunity to succeed in this industry now and well into the future. [post_title] => Home Health Care Industry - Franchise Opportunities [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => home-health-care-industry-franchise-opportunities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-20 17:02:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-20 22:02:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [110] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3418 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-16 16:05:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-16 21:05:45 [post_content] =>
Facts & Figures: A Barrel of Oil
  Have you ever wondered how much oil is consumed every day? The answer, as you probably suspected, is a lot – more than 31 billion barrels (85.3m/day) were consumed worldwide in 2010. The United States is the largest consumer of oil in the world, using more than double that of China every single day, yet we constitute just 5% of the world’s population while China makes up 20%. What do all these numbers actually represent? A barrel contains exactly 42 gallons of crude oil, which has to be refined before it is useful. U.S. refineries produce approximately 19 gallons of gasoline and 10 gallons of diesel from each barrel. The remainder yields heating oil, jet fuel, propane and other liquefied gases, as well as many other byproducts. Nearly everything in our lives is made in some part from oil. Many items are well known such as plastics, paints, and inks. Others are more surprising including toothpaste, shampoo, food preservatives, medicines and cosmetics. As we continue to strive toward a world that operates on 100% renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, etc.), the idea of being completely oil-free is hard to imagine given our overwhelming dependence upon it. Energy consumption is a large part of the operating budget of any business. Local, state and federal regulations can impact where a company chooses to locate its operations. The cost and availability of energy sources, both fossil fuels and renewable, should be part of a thorough site selection analysis. GeoMetrx is here to help you with your site selection needs. [post_title] => A Barrel of Oil... give or take 31 Billion [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-barrel-of-oil-give-or-take-31-billion [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-16 16:05:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-16 21:05:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [111] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3388 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-12 18:28:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-12 23:28:33 [post_content] =>
Gas Prices, Sanctions and Speculations
  One thing almost every American is acutely aware of these days is the price of a gallon of gasoline. Up until the last two weeks, prices had been steadily rising, fueling fears that prices wouldn’t level out until they reached the $5.00/gallon mark or more. However, prices appear to have peaked with the national average having now dropped to $3.92/gallon. In 2011, we reached a high of $3.99/gallon, with the record high of $4.11/gallon set in July of 2008. The pushes and pulls that effect gas prices are a complicated web mainly interweaving the financial markets and the political landscape. Prices are also affected by hurricanes, massive oil leaks, terrorists and other such events that disrupt the flow of oil. Financial speculators have been blamed for more than half the spike in oil prices as they have been buying up futures contracts, judging them as good investments. Much of these future speculations are being driven by the belief of the U.S. and its allies that Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb; an accusation Iran denies. Oil futures are agreements to buy or sell 1000 barrels of oil at a specific date in the future (anywhere from 1 month to 7 years) at a specific price. Traders bid on the price of oil based on what they believe the future price will be by estimating supply and demand. Once locked into a futures contract, the buyer will get the barrels of oil for the price paid regardless of whether the price per barrel has changed or not. Speculators who buy oil futures at higher than current market (spot) prices cause oil producers to stockpile their oil supply and sell it at the higher (future) price. Stockpiling of oil effectively reduces the supply and drives up both present and future prices, and continually puts pressure on future prices… and so on, and so on and so on. Bloomberg had this to say about the current oil futures situation:
“Talk to oil analysts these days and chances are they’ll tell you that more than half the spike in the oil price is due to speculators—specifically noncommercial users. That’s jargon for investors who are buying up futures contracts not because they intend to use the oil, but because they think it’s a good investment. These aren’t airlines or refining companies; these are money managers betting that the price will go up. And so far they’ve been right, thanks to themselves.”
Much of the world’s oil supply is located in regions that have historically been prone to political instability, often fueling the decisions of the oil futures speculators. Iran, the world’s 5th largest producer of oil, at more than 4.2 million barrels per day, continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions, causing much uncertainty in the region and around the world. The U.S. and its allies have been playing a game of cat and mouse, threatening everything from economic sanctions to military intervention as tensions between Iran and the west mount. President Obama, with the recent approval of Congress, is moving forward with tough new sanctions aimed at isolating Iran’s central bank from the global economy. The sanctions, which go into effect at the end of June, will be placed on foreign banks that continue to purchase oil from Iran. The decision to go forward with sanctions was based on a February report from the Energy Information Administration which revealed there is enough crude oil available on the world market to put the squeeze on Iran’s oil exports without harming the U.S. and its allies. Only time will tell if these political moves and the reactions of the financial markets will keep gas prices steady and even possibly continuing to drop or if they will start another upward journey, steadily marching toward that oft promised $5.00/gallon. [post_title] => Gas Prices, Sanctions and Speculations [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => gas-prices-sanctions-and-speculations [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-12 18:28:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-12 23:28:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [112] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3347 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-10 14:46:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-10 19:46:32 [post_content] =>
Pet Services: A Growing Industry
  Every two years the American Pet Products Association (APPA) conducts its in-depth National Pet Owner’s Survey. The most recent 2011-12 study reveals a growing industry, with an estimated 72.9 million households (62%) reporting pet ownership, up from 71.4 million from the 2009-10 study. The types of pets covered in the study include:
  • Birds
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Equine
  • Fish
  • Reptiles
  • Other Small Animals
As a nation, we spent $50.96 billion on our pets in 2011, an increase of 5.4% over the $48.35 billion spent in 2010. Our total expenditures are estimated to reach nearly $53 billion in 2012. The lion’s share of these expenditures covers food, supplies, medicines, vet care and pet services. Perhaps the phrase 'it’s raining and cats and dogs' may have something to do with the sheer number of them in our lives. Cats and dogs, by far, account for the majority of pets, 86.4 million and 78.2 million, respectively. Yet the number of dog owning households is greater than that of cats, 46.3 million vs. 38.9 million. The maps below, from our GeoMetrx application and data, help visually represent the distribution of dog and cat households in the U.S. For small business and franchise owners there is opportunity for growth and expansion in the Pet Services industry segment, which includes grooming and boarding. This segment accounted for $3.79 billion of expenditures in 2011 and is expected to reach $4.11 billion in 2012. The basic annual expenses for dog and cat owners in dollars include:
Dogs Cats
Surgical Vet Visits  $        407  $        425
Routine Vet  $        248  $        219
Food  $        254  $        220
Kennel Boarding   $        274  $        166
Vitamins  $          95  $          43
Travel Expenses  $          78  $          48
Groomer/Grooming Aids  $          73  $          34
Food Treats  $          70  $          41
Toys  $          43  $          21
To learn more about the opportunities in your area, contact GeoMetrx today at 1.888.848.4436 or schedule a demo of our application at your convenience. [post_title] => Pet Services: A Growing Industry [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pet-services-a-growing-industry [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-11 15:45:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 20:45:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [113] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3158 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-04 14:52:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-04 19:52:01 [post_content] =>
Tax Tips for Small Business Owners
  It’s that dreaded time of year when taxes are due… again! If only we could sweep them under the carpet and pretend they didn’t exist, right? However, it’s best to simply tackle them head on and get them done. If you’re one who waits until the last minute to file, at least you’ll be glad to know the IRS filing deadline has been extended to April 17th this year. For Small Business Owners taxes can be especially challenging. There are so many rules, and exceptions to those rules, and endless interpretations. We certainly are not experts on the subject, but one thing is for sure, none of us want to pay a penny more than we have to. We’ve come across a posting from the American Institute of CPAs that provides ten words for Small Business Owners to keep in mind when thinking about taxes throughout the year.
  • Expenses – keep a daily log of expenses all year long
  • Deductions – be sure to apply for all you are entitled to including: entertainment, travel, meals, capital assets, home office and health insurance
  • Traps – be careful not to trigger red flags such has claiming deductions that exceed your income
  • Retirement – funds from income paid into a retirement plan are deductible
  • Equipment – deduct up to $500K for equipment (if you spent $2M or less); repairs are also deductible
  • Payroll – don’t rob Peter to pay Paul; in other words, do not use withheld payroll taxes to finance other business expenses - if you are late or short on payroll taxes the penalties can be enormous
  • Insurance – there is a small business health care tax credit for which you may be eligible
  • Veterans – tax credits are available for businesses that hire certain unemployed veterans
  • Contributions – keep records of all goods, services, and financial donations made to charitable organizations throughout the year
  • Help – meet with your CPA quarterly to keep your tax situation in check
Keeping these words handy and your paperwork up-to-date will hopefully reduce the amount of stress tax season brings for many. While taxes, like death and shipping & handling, can’t be avoided, we can at least make the process less ‘taxing’ for ourselves!   [post_title] => Making Taxes Less Taxing for Small Business Owners [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => making-taxes-less-taxing-for-small-business-owners [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-11 10:40:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 15:40:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [114] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3129 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-04-02 10:42:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-04-02 15:42:49 [post_content] =>
Facts & Figures: Shopping Centers in the U.S.
  As the national conversation continues to focus on the concerns of the economy both local and global, subtle yet positive signs keep popping up here and there that buoy our spirits. One of those signs is the continued growth of shopping centers. Shopping centers are defined as establishments that are architecturally unified and provide on-site parking. They are planned, developed, owned and managed as an operating unit comprised of three or more stores. They range in size from small convenience centers to community strip malls to large super-regional malls. At the end of 3Q-2011, there were approximately 109,500 shopping centers in the U.S. providing more than 7.9 million square feet of leasable retail space collectively. While recent growth has been slower, the number of units and square footage has grown by more than 20% since the year 2000. The following graphs depict shopping center growth over the past 25 years: According to Chainlinks Retail Advisors U.S. National Retail Report, there is more good news as vacancy rates fell in 3Q-2011 from 11.0% to 10.9%. Fast casual dining concepts continue to be the biggest driver for leasing activity as well as one of the hottest franchise growth opportunities. Shopping centers are often excellent sites to establish a new franchise location as other retail outlets and service providers help draw a steady flow of potential customers, creating a symbiotic environment for all the businesses situated together. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reports that U.S. shopping-center retail sales total more than $2.26 trillion, accounting for over half of all retail sales. If you are considering expanding into new markets and are interested in a piece of that pie, give us a call at 1-888-848-4436 or schedule a demo at your convenience to discover how the GeoMetrx online application can provide you with all the information you need to evaluate the shopping center options in your market. [post_title] => Shopping Centers in the U.S. - Expansion Continues [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => shopping-centers-in-the-u-s-expansion-continues [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [115] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3047 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-29 14:23:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-29 19:23:34 [post_content] =>
EARTH Platinum – World’s Largest Atlas
  At a whopping 6 ft. tall by 4.5 ft. wide (9 ft. when opened) and weighing in at 264 pounds, the Millennium House publishers of Sydney Australia created the World’s Largest Atlas: EARTH Platinum. And they didn’t just do it once; 31 individually numbered copies were published in January 2012 of this extraordinary feat in cartography. The price tag on the book jacket: $100,000(US). The atlas is the culmination of the efforts of more than 100 cartographers, geographers and photographers from around the world, and took more than 4 years to complete. The book contains 128 pages of maps, flags and breathtaking images of famous landscapes and more, such as Machu Picchu pictured at left. A word of caution, don’t try to read it alone – it takes two people to turn the pages! The prior record for the largest atlas dates all the way back to the 17th century when the famous Klencke Atlas was gifted to Charles the II by a group of Dutch merchants. The book, measuring an amazing 5 ft. x 3 ft. was presented in recognition of his restoration to the English throne in 1660. The atlas, now in the safekeeping of the British Library, was put on public display with its pages open for the first time in 350 years at the 2010 Magnificent Maps exhibition. If the price tag of one of these fabulous atlases is a little more than you have budgeted, but you’d still like a really large wall map, we can help you out! Our GeoPrinter service provides custom wall maps ranging in size from 3’ x 4’ all the way up to 9’ x 12’. Report and desktop sizes are also available. In addition, we can print any .PDF file with a resolution of 600dpi or higher in our large format sizes. [post_title] => EARTH Platinum – World’s Largest Atlas [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => earth-platinum-worlds-largest-atlas [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [116] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2968 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-27 14:52:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-27 19:52:42 [post_content] =>
Data Mapping: Where are the Beer Drinkers? 
In recognition of the merry month of March, including the onset of Spring, NCAA March Madness and the good ol' Irish St. Patrick's day celebration, our thematic map is dedicated to beer! We have plotted domestic beer drinkers across the nation.The light colored areas (think light beer) have the lowest concentration of domestic beer drinkers, whereas the darker (think stouts) represent the areas with the highest concentration of domestic beer drinkers. Click to see a larger version of this map. ​Next we plotted the percent of micro-brewed beer drinkers across the US. When contrasting the two maps there is more than meets the eye. One might conlcude that dark areas on the domestic map that are now light on the micro-brew map would indicate folks in those locations prefer national domestics to local micro-brews. We would suggest the difference is actually due to the lack of availability of micro-brews. In fact, the dark areas on the micro-brew map align with regions that sport a lot of micro-brew activity. Click to see a larger version of this map. A great website, The Beer Mapping Project, is a compilation of locations of micro-breweries, brewpubs and other craft beer outlets. Accessing the site's regional maps, we've taken a closer look at three areas where there is clearly a difference between our domestic and microbrew maps: north central Michigan, south central Florida, and the greater Denver, Colorado corridor. The three maps, shown below, reveal that in Michigan and Florida, there is a complete absence of micro-breweries and brew pubs in the disparate areas. The Denver corridor, on the other hand, shows a comparitively high volume of craft beer activity. As we noted in our previous post, expanding into new markets is an excellent way to increase sales of exisiting products and services. It's essential to conduct thorough market research which includes identifying markets with heavy concentrations of potential customers who fit your company's target profile. As this example illustrates, it's important to consider many factors and utilize all your resources of information to find the best new markets. "If you build it, 'they' will come." [post_title] => Where are the Beer Drinkers? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => where-are-the-beer-drinkers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [117] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2951 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-23 15:55:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-23 20:55:39 [post_content] => Every business, no matter how large or how small, wants to sell more of its existing products and services. In order to do so, businesses must expand their market reach to acquire additional customers. Increasing sales in existing markets through advertising and marketing strategies is certainly not to be overlooked; however, the most effective way to gain new customers is to create new distribution channels that reach untapped markets. This can be accomplished by such methods as: • adding retail locations (corporate and/or franchised) • establishing more production facilities • developing reseller relationships (wholesaler, dealer, consultant, etc.) • providing online sales opportunities Placement (a.k.a. distribution) is one of the “4 Ps” of marketing: product, promotion, price, placement. Gaining new customers through expanding distribution channels has many benefits including: a) boosted profits through increased revenues and reduced per-unit production costs; b) raised awareness among consumers improving brand recognition; and c) reduced market risks by spreading the risks over multiple channels. The most critical step of any expansion strategy is to evaluate potential markets by comparing their attributes to those of your target market. If you are not certain of your target market, begin by examining your current customer base for common characteristics and interests. Characteristics (demographics) are things such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, occupation, marital status, presence of children, pet ownership, owners vs. renters, etc. Interests (psychographics) are things such as attitudes, behaviors, values, hobbies, leisure activities, lifestyles (health/diet/exercise, etc.), politics, religion, media choices, etc. Be sure to evaluate the data that connects your customers to your products and services. Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you’ve identified who you are targeting the next step is to locate those markets with the highest concentrations of potential customers. Visualizing your data on an interactive map is one of the best ways to evaluate potential markets as well as site locations. Maps allow you to assess a variety of attributes in addition to your target data including traffic patterns, travel times, competitor locations, business establishments and more. Take a look at this month’s thematic map below to see mapped data in action. [post_title] => Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => expanding-distribution-channels-and-exploring-new-markets [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [118] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2906 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-21 14:18:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-21 19:18:59 [post_content] =>
Watching the Web:
  How walkable is your neighborhood?  How walkable is the area surrounding your business?  What makes a neighborhood walkable?, a web resource that has scored thousands of neighborhoods across the U.S., has the answers.  Scores are assigned with values ranging from 0 to 100 based on the following criteria listed on the website:
  • A center: walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
  • People: enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: buildings are close to street, parking lots are relegated to back.
  • Schools and workplaces: close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.
The higher the score, the more walkable the neighborhood.  Neighborhoods are then classified by type:
Walk Score Type Description
90-100 Walker's Paradise Daily errands do not require car
70-89 Very Walkable Most errands can be accomplished on foot
50-69 Somewhat Walkable Some amenities within walking distance
25-49 Car-Dependent A few amenities within walking distance
0-24 Car-Dependent Almost all errands require a car
Would your business thrive in a more walkable neighborhood or a more car dependent neighborhood? How does the walkability of a neighborhood affect your site selection?  GeoMetrx allows you to evaluate locations on a wide variety of included data as well as allowing you to upload your proprietary data and additional outside data as well; we are here to help you in mapping your success!

For a full list of walkability scores by city along with an interactive map click here.

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U.S. Solar Energy Potential
  Solar energy is clean, renewable and abundant in the U.S., especially in the lower 48 states. In the shadow of global warming and rising fossil fuel prices, harnessing the power from the heat and light of the sun is once again returning to the forefront of our national conversation. Advances in technology continue to make the possibility of becoming a fossil-fuel free society more realistic. Our biggest remaining challenge is to produce and distribute the captured solar energy on a large enough scale to be available and affordable to everyone. So, which states have the greatest solar energy potential in the U.S.? Here are two graphics, the first depicting average annual sunshine, and the second the quality of annual killowatts per square meter in the U.S.

Source: How Stuff

Source: Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Spain and Germany are also included on the above graphic, as these are two of leading countries in solar energy.  As of 2010, the three leading European countries in solar energy capacity were Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic. The cost of energy effects every aspect of our lives, both personal and professional. For many businesses, site selection analysis practices are taking into account renewable energy sources. Read our previous post to see the top 10 solar energy friendly states. The GeoMetrx online mapping application encompasses a wide variety of weather data as well as the ability to upload outside data sources. For more information, call today at 1.888.848.4436 or schedule a custom demo any time. [post_title] => U.S. Solar Energy Potential [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-solar-energy-potential [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [120] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2818 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-15 14:39:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-15 19:39:41 [post_content] =>
Geography in the News: Solar Energy Industry Flares in 2011
  The Solar Energy industry in the U.S. is experiencing tremendous growth.  2011 was a record breaking year for installations of photovoltaics (PV), which convert sunlight directly to electricity.  The overall US capacity of PV has now reached 3,954 MW (megawatts), enough to power 800,000 homes.  A whopping 1,855 MW were installed in 2011 alone, an increase of 109% over 2010.  The US global market share now stands at 7% and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® anticipates growth to continue over the next five years, reaching a nearly 15% global market share by 2016.  Installations for 2012 are forecasted at 2,800 MW. A quarterly report published by the SEIA and GTM Research cites one of the major contributors to the rapid growth was the 20% price decline of PV systems over the course of the last year, due in large part to lower component costs as well as improved installation efficiency, expanding financing options, and a shift toward larger systems nationwide. Additionally, some good news/bad news for the industry was the expiration of the federal government’s 1603 Treasury program (on 12/31/11) which impelled developers to commission projects before year end; the industry will need to revert back to tax equity financing. The solar energy industry market segments are: Residential, Non-Residential (mainly commercial), and Utilities.  While installations for the residential segment were up 11%, non-residential grew by 127% and utilities showed the most gain at 185%.  The top ten states with the most US Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW) are:
State Approx. MW
California 1564
New Jersey 573
Arizona 383
Colorado 212
New Mexico 159
Nevada 149
Pennsylvania 143
New York 116
North Carolina 95
Florida 94
The interest in solar energy gained in popularity during the energy crisis of the 1970s. Market entry was prohibitive as prices were nearly 30 times greater than today, making large scale usage impractical. However, through much research and development, harnessing the energy of the sun has become a great deal more feasible. Will 2012 be the year your business goes solar? [post_title] => Solar Energy Industry Flares in 2011 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => solar-energy-industry-flares-in-2011 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-11 15:57:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 20:57:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [121] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2782 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-13 16:27:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-13 21:27:20 [post_content] =>
March Madness Fans:
Basketball Fever is upon us and what better way to embrace March Madness than to 'post up' some fun fan data?!  The four number one seeds in the 2012 NCAA Championship are Kentucky (South), Syracuse (East), Michigan State (West), and North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Midwest).  There's plenty of commentary about the prospects of each team making it into the Final Four, but what about the fans, how do they stack up? We took a look at the behaviors of residents within a 10-mile radius of each of the teams during regular and post season play including watching on TV, listening on the radio, and attending games. Kentucky and North Carolina residents follow college basketball in both the regular and post-seasons in numbers above the national average across all categories.   Syracuse residents put up some of the lowest scores, particularly for attending regular season games. Syracuse Orange fans are often ranked as being huge supporters of their team, so what might account for these results? It's important not to jump to conclusions when looking at data, but rather to drill deeper and consider other factors.  What is the seating capacity in each of the arenas for basketball games? (Syracuse Carrier Dome = 33,000; NC-Chapel Hill Dean Smith Center = 21,750). Does Syracuse have more season ticket holders? (this could result in sold out games yet yield a smaller percentage of the total population attending due to a higher concentration of repeat fans). What is the population density of each area? (Syracuse has the second most dense 10-mile radius of the four schools). What happens to the data when we cast our net out over a 5-mile radius or a 15-mile radius? What is the tipping point? While this comparison is all in the spirit and fun of the 2012 NCAA Championships, it is a good example of how complex the issues can get when conducting a site analysis and comparing locations. The GeoMetrx territory mapping application allows you to analyze a wide variety of data as well as upload your own data in order to make the most informed business decisions and lay up some excellent game strategies. If you'd like to learn more, give us a call at 1.888.848.4436, or request a demo that fits your schedule. [post_title] => March Madness Fans [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => march-madness-fans [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [122] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2749 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-09 12:23:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-09 17:23:41 [post_content] =>
International Franchise Expo (IFE) Moves to New York City:
For the past 20 years the International Franchise Expo (IFE) has been held in our nation’s capital.  This year, however, the big event will take place in the Big Apple!  The IFE is America's biggest franchise event showcasing franchise concepts from every imaginable industry both domestic and international.  In addition to franchise opportunities available at every investment level, product suppliers, industry service providers, and trade publications will join the exhibitors. The expo boasts 40 free seminars including topics such as “Getting Ready to Franchise Your Business,” "Taking Your Franchise System to the Next Level," and “Best Practices for Start Up & Early Stage Franchisors.” New York City is touted as being an excellent location for the event, drawing from a diverse population of 28 million as well as being the media capital of the world. The event, which is organized by MFV, also conducts annually the West Coast Franchise Expo (WCFE) in Los Angeles (October 12-14, 2012) and the Franchise Expo South (FES) in Miami Beach (January 11-13, 2013).  For more insight from Blue Mau Mau on the move of the IFE to New York City, click here.

[post_title] => International Franchise Expo (IFE) Moves to New York City [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => international-franchise-expo-ife-moves-to-new-york-city [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [123] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2731 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-07 18:56:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-07 23:56:30 [post_content] => U.S. Custom Wall Maps: We wanted to share a couple of great websites for U.S. Maps  The first site is, which features a variety of online maps from all 50 states including, cities and roads, elevations, physical features, rivers and lakes, and more.  The maps are provided by a variety of contributors.  Here is an example of a drought map courtesy of the USGS:

We'd also like to share our affiliated website  Here you can create your own custom tailored wall maps ranging in size from 3' x 4' to as large as 9' x 12'.  You can select the level of detail as well as determine which features you would like printed including zip code or county boundaries, streets indexes, radius rings,  and more. Standard maps are laminated and additional finishing options are available.  Dry erase markers are a perfect companion for laminated maps.

Custom wall maps are a great resource for many businesses and organizations that need a detailed reference map of their trade areas, delivery boundaries, competitor / service provider locations, construction zones, real estate planning, etc.  Prices start as low as $195.  Check out the site today and if you have any questions please contact us at 1.888.848.4436.

[post_title] => U.S. Custom Wall Maps [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-custom-wall-maps [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [124] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2714 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-05 16:23:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-05 21:23:28 [post_content] => So you’re ready to jump in and start a business, making your entrepreneurial aspirations come to life; that’s great! Where should you set up shop? Well, Kipplinger’s recently published a list of the top ten best cities for entrepreneurs based on several factors. The criteria they used to assess cities across the US were four-fold and included: 1) high concentrations of small businesses and good track records of incubating start-ups; 2) patents issued above the national average of 1.8 per 10,000 residents; 3) a healthy amount of private venture capital investments in start-ups; and 4) a cost-of-living score calculated for the self-employed. The top ten cities after completing the evaluation are:
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Raleigh-Cary, NC
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Seattle, WA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Tampa, FL
No matter whether you select one of these cities or another, it’s extremely important to conduct a complete and detailed site analysis of your exact location. GeoMetrx has the tools and the expertise to help. Give us a call today at 1.888.848.4436 or request a demo any time. [post_title] => 10 Great Cities for Starting a Business [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 10-great-cities-for-starting-a-business [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [125] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2694 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-02 19:25:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-03 00:25:02 [post_content] => Did you catch The Office last night? Did you catch the geography humor? Do you have neighborhood pride? Scranton, PA 18505... wait, that's way too vague, you need ZIP+4, and don't forget the "dash"! Enjoy the clip ; ) [post_title] => Neighborhood Pride - ZIP Code Humor [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => neighborhood-pride-zip-code-humor [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [126] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2672 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-03-01 16:09:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-01 21:09:24 [post_content] => Geography in the News We learn from a young age that our oceans are one of our most valuable resources.  They cover more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface (71% and rising) and contain 97% of Earth’s water (1% is fresh water and 2% is contained in glaciers and ice caps, for the moment anyway).  It is estimated that our oceans contain as much as 80% of all life on earth, much of it unexplored and undiscovered.  In addition to this incredible biodiversity, millions of people around the world depend on the oceans for their daily livelihood, while fish supply the greatest percentage of the world’s protein consumed by humans. Our oceans face many threats today from pollution to the effects of global warming to overfishing and more.  Overfishing is taking place in certain regions where the fishing levels are well above their maximum sustainable yield.  Many fish species are endangered due to the rising demand of an ever-growing human population combined with advances in fishing technology. Massive commercial factory fishing boats indiscriminately catch everything in their path with nets that continue to decrease in mesh size as catch sizes also gradually diminish. This approach captures and kills many fish that are too small to be used for food and too young to have bred.  Worldwide, about 25% of forage fish stocks, smaller fish that are preyed upon by large predators such as seabirds, marine animals and even humans, have collapsed, and it is doubtful some will ever recover. A recently released international study published in the magazine Science and coordinated by Philippe Cury, a researcher with the IRD (Institute of Research for Development in Sète, France), has revealed that overfishing also threatens seabirds.  The study, which is based on nearly 450 years of cumulative observation of 14 species of coastal birds, found a startling similarity among every species; when the supply of fish drops below the "magic" one-third of maximum capacity, birth rates plummet. Measuring seabird populations is relatively easy and one of the best ways to judge the health of marine ecosystems. These coastal seabird species are among the most endangered due in great part to the lack of food, but also as a result of climate change and the destruction of their coastal habitats where they are in competition for space along the water’s edge. The authors of the study have coined the phrase "keep one-third for the birds" which they believe should be used as a guide for managing forage fisheries around the globe. Maintaining this level would preserve seabird populations, while also ensuring the survival of the fish species themselves, claims biologist Steven Murawski of the University of South Florida in Tampa.  While his focus is on the fish, he likes the phrase as it "gets at the notion that we need to leave a healthy margin of fish in the water. It surely is a great bumper sticker!" Below the critical level of one-third of the fish biomass, not only the birds, but the stability of the entire ecosystem, come under threat.  For more on this story read here. [post_title] => Overfishing - "Keep One-Third for the Birds" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => overfishing-keep-one-third-for-the-birds [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [127] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2650 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-28 12:56:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-28 17:56:05 [post_content] => Even before the launch of the Let’s Move campaign by First Lady Michelle Obama, aimed at raising a healthier generation of kids, the fitness center industry has shown steady growth and solid profits for more than two decades.  The campaign, targeting childhood obesity, recognizes that parents play a key role in making healthy choices for their children. Parents are encouraged to adopt a lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise for the entire family. Fitness Center franchises offer a variety of opportunities and expertise to help families reach their healthy lifestyle goals. Fitness Center franchises also have proven to be a profitable business opportunity for many. According to a study published by First Research in November 2011, the US fitness centers industry consists of about 22,000 companies and non-profits operating more than 30,000 centers across the US.  Annual revenues total nearly $22 billion, with the 50 largest companies accounting for approximately 30% of revenue. Some of the major players include Planet Fitness (434 locations), Gold’s Gym (690 locations), Snap Fitness (1,190 locations), Curves (7,263 locations) and Jazzercise (8,181 locations). provides a list of 45 Fitness Center Franchises including detailed information about each opportunity.  Entry fee investments start as low as $2,500 for Platoon Fitness and can reach as much as $3.9 million for Gold’s Gym ($898.5K to $3.89M).  The average investment ranges from $180K to $325K. Opening a fitness center requires careful planning and research and many factors should be considered. Finding the right location hinges on selecting an area heavily comprised of target market customers. Below is a GeoMetrx map depicting the percent of the adult population that exercise at private facilities across the country. [caption id="attachment_2651" align="aligncenter" width="1161" caption="Source: GeoMetrx 2012"][/caption] GeoMetrx has a vast array of data to help franchisors and franchisees identify markets and define territories based on targeted customer profiles, including up-to-date demographics, business data, competitor profiles, lifestyle behaviors, segmentation, and more. Company owned data can be uploaded as well to further enhance any site analysis by radius, drive-time or custom drawn areas.  Call us today at 1.888.848.4436 or click here to request a demo. [post_title] => Fitness Center Franchises [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fitness-center-franchises [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [128] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2623 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-24 19:45:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-25 00:45:54 [post_content] => The two most important factors affecting the success of any retail business are customers and location, so much so you can’t have one without the
other; they are inseparable. However, unlike the age-old question ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg,’ we know that finding customers comes before finding the right location. While it’s true that “location, location, location” is absolutely critical to the success of any retail business, you must first define your target customer profile. When identifying your target customer, think of them in demographic (census) terms. What age group does your product or service appeal to?  Are there children in the household? Are they homeowners or renters? Do they drive? What is their income range (can they afford your product or service)?  What are their hobbies and interests? Once you have your target customer profile in hand, it’s time to locate them – where they live, where they work, where they shop, where they play. Our spotlight franchise, CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar, headquartered in Broken Arrow, OK, is rapidly expanding. The majority of stores are located in the mid-west, with locations reaching as far as Colorado, North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas; and many new locations are opening soon. The CherryBerry business model is simple in design and highly popular. Customers grab a dish, fill it with any of 50+ rotating flavors of frozen yogurt, add as many toppings as they choose, place it on the scale and pay a flat per ounce fee – easy, quick, delicious, and a healthy choice too! CherryBerry offers franchise opportunities and uses the power of GeoMetrx to optimize territories and provide detailed data for site selection analysis and more. Each CherryBerry franchise territory is unique and careful site selection within those territories can make the difference in the level of success of each store. Following is a site selection comparison for two CherryBerry locations - one in Enid, OK and one in Glenpool, OK. As you can see from the maps below, the Enid store is located in a more densely populated area than the Glenpool store, yet both stores are flourishing. A more detailed site analysis reveals some of CherryBerry's secrets to choosing successful locations:
  [post_title] => Site Selection: CherryBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Bar [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => site-selection-cherryberry-self-serve-frozen-yogurt-bar [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [129] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2573 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-22 16:26:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-22 21:26:52 [post_content] => “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” ~ Samuel Johnson Recently we discovered a handy on-line resource that tracks and monitors extraordinary events around the world as near to real-time as possible which is then displayed on a global alert map.  The icons on the map are linked to detailed event information and status updates.  The website, RSOE-EDIS, is the Emergency and Disaster Information Service (EDIS) operated by The Hungarian National Association of Radio Distress-Signaling and Infocommunications (RSOE).

RSOE-EDIS Motto: “Prepared Citizens - Prepared Communities”

The service tracks a wide variety of events including earthquakes, volcanic activity, severe weather, tsunamis, animal infections, insect infestations, forest fires, vehicle accidents (planes, ships, mass transit, and more), major power outages, bioterror/terrorism, health epidemics, flash floods, explosions, chemical accidents and even jellyfish invasions and shark attacks.  If you want to know what is going on in the world at any given moment, they’ve got it all.  You can select a world-wide view detailing the most significant events occurring around the globe, or narrow your focus on a particular continent/region with additional events identified. At GeoMetrx we believe that visualizing data allows for making better informed decisions. Every business has a wealth of data at its fingertips just waiting to be mapped. If you’d like to find out more about how GeoMetrx can help your business grow, give us a call today at 1.888.848.4436 [post_title] => Real-Time Global Alert Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => real-time-global-alert-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [130] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2517 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-20 16:59:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-20 21:59:56 [post_content] => It’s the 3rd Monday in February and depending on where you live you may or may not be celebrating a holiday today.  While federal government offices close and the majority of state offices do so as well, many businesses make the most of the holiday by offering patriotic-themed sales. Officially, the United States federal government is celebrating Washington’s Birthday, not Presidents’ Day. Washington’s Birthday was originally celebrated on February 22nd, but in 1968 Congress moved the holiday to the 3rd Monday in February, and this created a lot of debate across our great land.  There was a proposal at one time to change the observance from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day in order to celebrate President Lincoln as well; however this has never come to pass. State governments set their own holidays, only some of which are the same as federal holidays. Since 1968, most states have opted to observe some form of presidential holiday on this 3rd Monday in February, but exactly what is celebrated varies from state to state. Some celebrate Washington's Birthday, some celebrate both Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays, while the majority simply celebrate Presidents' Day (though even the placement of the possessive apostrophe varies). Here’s how things stack up across the land*:
  • States observing some form of Washington, Lincoln or Presidents’ Day = 41
  • States observing a form of this holiday on the 3rd Monday of February = 38**
  • States observing Washington’s Birthday only = 9
  • States observing Presidents’ Day only = 24
  • States not observing any form of this holiday at any time during the year = 9
State Holiday*
Alabama George Washington/Thomas Jefferson Birthday
Alaska President's Day
Arizona Lincoln/Washington/Presidents' Day
Arkansas George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day
California President's Day
Colorado Presidents' Day
Connecticut Washington’s Birthday
Delaware No holiday observed
Florida No holiday observed
Georgia Washington's Birthday *Observed on Dec. 24th
Hawaii Presidents' Day
Idaho Presidents' Day
Illinois Washington's Birthday (President's Day)
Indiana Washington's Birthday *Observed on Dec. 24th
Iowa No holiday observed
Kansas No holiday observed
Kentucky No holiday observed
Louisiana No holiday observed
Maine Washington's Birthday/President's Day
Maryland Presidents' Day
Massachusetts Washington’s Birthday
Michigan Presidents Day
Minnesota Presidents' Day
Mississippi George Washington's Birthday
Missouri Washington's Birthday
Montana Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthday
Nebraska President's Day
Nevada Presidents' Day
New Hampshire Washington's Birthday
New Jersey Presidents Day
New Mexico Presidents' Day *Observed day after Thanksgiving
New York Washington's Birthday
North Carolina No holiday observed
North Dakota Presidents' Day
Ohio President's Day
Oklahoma Presidents' Day
Oregon Presidents’ Day
Pennsylvania Presidents' Day
Rhode Island No holiday observed
South Carolina George Washington's Birthday / President's Day
South Dakota Presidents' Day
Tennessee Presidents' Day
Texas Presidents’ Day
Utah Washington and Lincoln Day
Vermont Presidents' Day
Virginia George Washington Day
Washington Presidents' Day
West Virginia Presidents Day
Wisconsin No holiday observed
Wyoming President's Day
table compiled by *based on 2012 State Holidays listings from individual state government websites ** Georgia and Indiana observe Washington’s Birthday on Dec. 24th; New Mexico observes Presidents’ Day on the Friday after Thanksgiving
[post_title] => Presidents’ Day or Washington’s Birthday – Which States Observe Which Holiday? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => presidents-day-or-washingtons-birthday-which-states-observe-which-holiday [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) [131] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2502 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-16 19:23:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-17 00:23:56 [post_content] => For the past six years, the U.S. has been making steady progress toward achieving energy independence. According to Bloomberg, we are now meeting more than 80% of our own energy demands, which is the highest level achieved since 1992. The last time we were 100% energy independent was back in 1952. There are many factors contributing to this achievement including:
  • Average daily oil output – 5.7 million barrels (highest in 8 years)
  • Increased natural gas production – 22.4 trillion cubic feet in 2010
  • Average U.S. passenger vehicle efficiency – 29.6 mpg in 2011 (19.9 in 1978)
  • North Dakota  booming – 4th largest oil producing state behind Texas, Alaska and California
The Bakken Formation is currently the most productive oil field in the United States. There are over 6,000 active oil wells in this oil field, most of which are located in North Dakota and Montana. It is estimated to hold over 4 billion barrels of oil. In addition to the oil there is also natural gas that has been released from the fracturing in the Bakken Formation. America’s Natural Gas Alliance reports that the shale gas industry supports more than 600,000 jobs in the U.S., and that number is expected to rise to more than 1.6 million by 2035. These figures include not only the jobs provided by the companies and their suppliers, but also hotels, restaurants and other services. Many business opportunities exist for franchisors and franchisees in and around this booming industry. Unemployment in North Dakota was a mere 3.3% in December 2011. According to Bloomberg, hiring is frantic, so much so that one area McDonald’s store was offering $300 signing bonuses. [post_title] => U.S. Energy Independence: Making Steady Progress [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-energy-self-sufficiency-goal-getting-closer [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [132] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2466 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-14 18:14:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-14 23:14:28 [post_content] => How close are you to finding Romance, Harmony or even your Romeo?  Look no further than our monthly thematic map!  We've included a dozen roses, er... cities and towns with names that conjure up images and thoughts of Valentine's Day. Did you know some of these towns, such as Loveland, CO, have a Valentine's remailing program providing a romantic postmark on a card for that extra-special someone? Last year volunteers in Colorado cancelled over 160,000 cards and letters from more than 110 countries. February's map also includes a thematic layer depicting the percentage of 'never married' folks in the U.S. The light pink represents the areas with the fewest and the dark red represents the areas with the highest concentration. Will Valentine's Day 2012 be the year some of these folks find their soulmate? Valentine Cities and Towns in the U.S.:

Click on the map to view a larger version.

[post_title] => Valentine Cities and Towns - Is There Romance on the Horizon? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => valentine-cities-and-towns-is-there-romance-on-the-horizon [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [133] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2368 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-10 11:57:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-10 16:57:04 [post_content] => Fast Casual Dining - A Growing MarketWhat exactly is Fast Casual dining?  Fast Casual dining restaurants, a relatively new market concept, have found their niche sandwiched between fast food and casual dining.  These restaurants are upscale quick service formats that offer more service along with higher quality food than their traditional fast food counterparts, yet do not provide the full table-side service associated with casual dining. Perhaps surprisingly, this market segment has increased in popularity since the onset of the economic downturn reaching back to 2007. When you think about it though, it makes a lot of sense.  As Americans, we love our food and we love dining out, but we have to keep a watchful eye on our budgets and our waistlines.  The beauty of Fast Casual dining is that it allows us to double dip when tightening our belts.  The menus tend to be healthier than traditional fast food options, therefore reducing our calorie intake; add to that lower than average bills compared to casual dining, and we save again. Voila, the double-dip!

The NPD Group, a leading market research company, conducts the NPD Recount, a bi-annual census of restaurant counts.  According to their most recent report, the number of Fast Casual dining units has grown from 11,013 in 2007 to 13,643 in 2011.  In addition to the rise in total units, annual traffic at Fast Casual restaurants has also increased from 4% to as much as 11% during each of the past five years.  Conversely, traffic has been on the decline for fast food, casual dining and midscale establishments for the past three years, consecutively.

[caption id="attachment_2394" align="aligncenter" width="479" caption="Source: The NPD Group, Inc."][/caption], which reports on the important news, events, trends and people in the $23.5 billion fast casual restaurant industry segment, will release their 7th annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers report in March 2012.   Which companies do you think will top the list this year? Here were the top five 2011 Movers & Shakers: When the time is right to expand, every business should conduct a thorough and complete site location analysis, and it is critical for franchisors to provide optimized franchise territories.  GeoMetrx enables you to build and define the right territories and select the best sites.  Call or email us today at for more info and let us help you map your success! [post_title] => Fast Casual Dining – A Growing Market [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fast-casual-dining-a-growing-marke [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [134] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2336 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-08 14:55:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-08 19:55:54 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_2352" align="alignright" width="314" caption="Photograph by Hank deVre, Squaw Valley"][/caption] Just hearing the name National Geographic conjures up images in one’s mind of some of the most spectacularly amazing photography of all time.  And they don’t stop there; National Geographic’s in-depth articles inspire us to travel the world.  As old man winter is finally coming out of hibernation, we’d like to bring you their latest website listing of the World's 25 Best Ski Towns as a follow-up to our most recent newsletter.  Our January 2012 issue featured a thematic map depicting average annual snowfall and concentration of skiers by state. Check it out here! The National Geographic list provides a brief overview of each of the featured ski-towns including a “Best For” recommendation as well as some of the best digs, eats and non-skiing day activities.  Follow the links for more detailed info:
  1. Girdwood, Alaska Best For: Off-the-beaten-path powder hounds with an aversion to glamour
  2. Fernie, British Columbia, Canada Best For: Adventurous skiers with a hunger for the steep and deep
  3. Zermatt, Switzerland Best For: Photographers with a taste for old-world culture and never-ending descents
  4. Bozeman, Montana Best For: Diehard skiers who wear their duct tape with pride (and beginners who look forward to doing the same someday)
  5. Chamonix, France Best For: Adrenaline junkies who like their mountains big
  6. Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Best For: Aesthetically minded skiers who appreciate fine wine
  7. Whitefish, Montana Best For: Families and groups with disparate skiing abilities
  8. Crested Butte, Colorado Best For: Families hoping to raise the next freeskiing world champion
  9. Aspen, Colorado Best For: Well-heeled scenesters and celebrity-stalkers with a love for top-quality skiing
  10. Niseko, Japan Best For: Powder worshippers with plenty of frequent flyer miles and a taste for hot springs and sushi
  11. Kitzbühel, Austria Best For: Intermediate skiing couples with a taste for the cosmopolitan
  12. Bend, Oregon Best For: Multisport junkies with a taste for microbrews
  13. Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada Best For: Croissant-loving skiers and snowboarders looking for European ambiance without the overseas flight
  14. Taos, New Mexico Best For: Art-loving skiers and boarders with a taste for steep runs and green chilies
  15. Park City, Utah Best For: Cinephile families with a range of abilities
  16. Truckee, California Best For: Families with aspiring ski or rider rock star kids; also, ski and rider rock stars
  17. Whistler, British Columbia Best For: Skiers and snowboarders who want the biggest of everything
  18. North Conway, New Hampshire Best For: History-buff families in the northeastern U.S.
  19. Banff, Canada Best For: Hardy skiers and snowboarders of all abilities who love big views, wild panoramas, and bighorn sheep on the front lawn
  20. Steamboat Springs, Colorado Best For: Families hoping to groom the next Bode Miller
  21. Telluride, Colorado Best For: Big-lunged skiers and boarders with a taste for fine wine and the mountain high life
  22. Jackson, Wyoming Best For: Advanced skiers and riders looking for test pieces and line dancing
  23. Wanaka, New Zealand Best For: Skiing and snowboarding addicts from the Northern Hemisphere who just can’t let go when winter slips away
  24. Stowe, Vermont Best For: Patrician eastern U.S. skiers with a taste for fine dining
  25. Ketchum, Idaho Best For: Hard-carving skiers and boarders who like playing “spot the movie star”
Enjoy the beautiful pictures of these amazing scenic ski towns.  See you on the slopes! Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads. ~Author Unknown [caption id="attachment_2354" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption=""Where's Waldo?" Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie, National Geographic"][/caption] [post_title] => National Geographic: World's 25 Best Ski Towns [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => national-geographic-worlds-25-best-ski-towns [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-25 14:01:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-25 19:01:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [135] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2310 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-06 14:45:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-06 19:45:17 [post_content] => If you are in the hospitality industry, chances are your business is impacted by the number of people who travel by air. The Bureau of Transportation has recently released the latest numbers for 3Q2011 U.S. Air Carrier Traffic. Despite all we hear about the recession and its negative impact on travel, the number of passengers over the last year has increased. In fact, more than 736 million passengers travelled on a U.S. Air Carrier between Nov. 2010 and Oct. 2011, reflecting an increase of 2% over the 721 million passengers in the same period one year earlier. And what is it costing folks to fly these days?  The average fare at all airports* for 3Q2011 was $361.  Here is a list of airports with the five highest and lowest average itinerary fares: Highest Average Fares
  • Cincinnati, OH            $488
  • Huntsville, AL            $473
  • Memphis, TN             $472
  • Houston Bush, TX     $469
  • Washington Dulles     $468
Lowest Average Fares
  • Atlantic City, NJ         $167
  • Long Beach, CA          $240
  • Bellingham, WA          $253
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL     $256
  • Orlando, FL                $263
*Top 100 Airports based on 2010 U.S. Originating Domestic Passengers (not including Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico). Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or “zero fares” or a few abnormally high reported fares. Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Check out this fascinating video depicting a 24 hour period of air traffic over the United States: According to the NOAA’s Science on a Sphere,"On any given day, more than 87,000 flights are in the skies in the United States. Only one-third are commercial carriers, like American, United or Southwest. On an average day, air traffic controllers handle 28,537 commercial flights (major and regional airlines), 27,178 general aviation flights (private planes), 24,548 air taxi flights (planes for hire), 5,260 military flights and 2,148 air cargo flights (Federal Express, UPS, etc.). At any given moment, roughly 5,000 planes are in the skies above the United States. In one year, controllers handle an average of 64 million takeoffs and landings." [post_title] => Up, Up and Away - U.S. Air Carrier Traffic [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => up-up-and-away-u-s-air-carrier-traffic [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [136] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2281 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-02-02 16:17:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-02 21:17:40 [post_content] => Most of us are familiar with what has become known as the “Groundhog Day Effect," or recurring / repetitive events, based on the blockbuster film starring Bill Murray and Andie McDowell, but what about a “Groundhog Year Effect?”  Well, brace yourselves, because 2012 may bring us exactly that! [caption id="attachment_2291" align="alignright" width="320" caption="Mount Cleveland Volcano, Aleutian Islands Image:Courtesy of Steve J. Smith"][/caption] The Aleutian Islands southwest of mainland Alaska is a remote and mostly uninhabited region which conjures up an image of being picturesque and serene, but it is anything but serene.  The chain is formed by a series of more than 300 small volcanic islands, one of which has been making some noise again in recent months.  Mount Cleveland, a.k.a. Cleveland Volcano, has formed its second lava dome in less than six months.  A previous lava dome formed throughout the fall and winter of 2011, and was largely removed by explosive activity on December 25 and 29, 2011. The December activity did not result in any ash cloud emissions, however, scientists and aviators have raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange and the Alert Level to Watch, as they closely monitor this second lava dome.  An eruption could send an ash cloud more than 20,000 feet above sea level, marking three straight years of major air traffic disruption due to volcanic activity.  Really?  Really! You might not think that a volcanic eruption in an area as remote as the Aleutian Islands would have much of an impact on us mainlanders, however, it most definitely would.  According to Steve McNutt, a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, “90% of air freight from Asia to Europe and North America flies over Alaska air space, and hundreds of flights, including more than 20,000 passengers, fly through Anchorage's air space daily.  If there is an explosion and (ash) reaches high altitudes, it will cause flights to be rerouted and ultimately canceled." Certainly we all recall the impact of the Icelandic eruptions of Grimsvotn in 2011 and Eyjafjallajokull in 2010. We live in a global economy and activity in one part of the world almost always effects activity in every other part of the world.   Be prepared and keep informed, because undoubtedly your supply chain will be impacted to some degree if Mount Cleveland blows its stack.  To follow the developments of the activity at Mount Cleveland visit the Alaska Volcano Observatory website. [post_title] => Cleveland Volcano: Groundhog Day (er... Year) Effect Looms [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cleveland-volcano-groundhog-day-er-year-effect-looms [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [137] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2257 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-01-31 18:10:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-31 23:10:04 [post_content] => Super Bowl Sunday has practically become another holiday for many, even those that aren’t full-fledged football fans.  More than 100 million folks will gather for parties in homes across the country this Sunday to watch the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI (46).   And what is a party without food?  Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest snack-consuming days in the U.S., second only to Thanksgiving. The most popular items on party menus are chips with dips, wings, and pizza.  It is estimated that nearly 60% of all takeout food ordered on Super Bowl Sunday is pizza (Source:  WPDE).  That got us to wondering here at GeoMetrx what the pizza playbook looks like between New York and Boston.  We sunk our teeth into our Simmons Consumer Behavior database to find out. The top 3 most visited pizza chains in both markets are Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Papa John’s, respectively.   The match-up for patronizing Papa John’s, the NFLs official pizza, reveals Patriot area fans are nearly 20% more likely than Giants area fans to order their pies from Papa John’s.  But there are plenty of other teams in the hunt for a piece of the pie this Sunday.  Round Table Pizza shows the highest propensity for intercepting calls for pizza in both markets.  Other top performers are Sbarro in the New York area and Papa Gino’s in the Boston area. For more fun-filled pizza facts and to find great pizza near you visit  If you’d like to find out more about our Consumer Behavior databases and how to use the information to enhance your business decisions just give us call at 1.888.848.4436. [post_title] => Super Bowl Sunday - Battle of the Pizza [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => super-bowl-sunday-battle-of-the-pizza [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [138] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2235 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-01-27 17:22:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-27 22:22:15 [post_content] => Thousands upon thousands of young men and women who have so heroically served in the U.S. military are beginning to come home in droves, and many of them are joining the ranks of the unemployed.  As of December 2011, 7.7%, or 857,000 of our veterans, were unemployed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In this post, we’d like to share with you an organization that is working hard to help this very deserving group of men and women by providing franchise opportunities for veterans. The International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide.  In 1991, the IFA founded the VetFran initiative, a program which proudly boasts that “…more than 400 IFA franchisor member companies offer  financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership and/or a career path in franchising. Since the program’s inception, more than 2,100 veterans have become franchise business owners through VetFran.” In fact, according to a recent study conducted for the IFA’s Educational Foundation, one out of every seven franchise businesses is owned and operated by a U.S. military veteran, which accounts for more than 66,000 businesses, employing over 815,000 workers, and generating more than $41 billion in GDP. Some of the factors that contribute to the success of veteran-owned franchises include their strong leadership skills, personal discipline, team player mentality, systematic approach to achieving tasks, openness to receiving training and guidance while following a proven model, and feeling connected to a support structure by being part of a franchise family. For a list of specific franchise ownership incentives for veterans visit the VetFran Directory.  Whether veteran or civilian-owned, all franchisors can improve their business by using tools that will help in mapping their success.  Give us a call today to learn more about how GeoMetrx can help your business improve. [post_title] => Franchise Opportunities for Veterans [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => franchise-opportunities-for-veterans [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [139] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2177 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-01-25 10:47:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-25 15:47:50 [post_content] => Most of us probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the weather in space.  Wait, weather in space?  Indeed, space experiences disturbances in its environment and since weather terms are a familiar way of describing atmospheric disturbances on Earth, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has adopted this language to help communicate the concepts of events that occur in space, particularly between the Sun and the Earth. So why do we even care about space weather?  Well, the technology we rely on to transmit information via satellite communications is vulnerable to space weather events, and our dependence on these systems and our demand for these services are growing rapidly.  When space weather impacts our communication systems, people and organizations are beginning to take notice, and in some cases altering their activities accordingly.  Just yesterday, in an effort to avoid radio disruptions, Delta Airlines rerouted more than a half-dozen US to Asia flights that would otherwise have flown over the North Pole. There are three major types of space disturbances or space weather that have the potential to disrupt communications:
  • Geomagnetic storms:  disturbances in the geomagnetic field caused by gusts in the solar wind that blows by Earth
  • Solar radiation storms:  elevated levels of radiation that occur when the numbers of energetic particles increase
  • Radio blackouts:  disturbances of the ionosphere caused by X-ray emissions from the Sun
In addition to defining the above categories, the NOAA has developed scales that rate the intensity of the possible effects of each type from minor to extreme.  Depending on the [caption id="attachment_2178" align="alignright" width="293" caption="Hinrich Baesemann Jan. 24, 2011 Location: Tromso, northern Norway Details: "Expecting the arrival of the shockwave from the solar wind I was out on the coast of Tromso. The nice eddz apperared at about 18:30 UT, not as much as I expected, but I liked it." Image Courtesy of: Minnesota Public Radio ("][/caption] type of event, minor to moderate effects include interruption of high-frequency radio, power grid fluctuations, and can even impact migratory animals.  Extreme effects can include total high frequency radio blackout that could last up to several hours, power grid blackouts, and some satellites may be rendered useless. To see the scales click here. Geomagnetic storms, while potentially damaging to communication systems, also provide a pretty show.  A minor level G1 storm produces visible auroras that can be seen from higher latitudes such as Michigan and Maine.  An extreme level G5 storm produces visible auroras that can be seen as far south as Texas and Florida. The NOAA has joined the social media craze and if you’d like to keep up to date on space weather forecasts you can follow them on Facebook!  If your business relies on satellite communication, be proactive and know when your communications with your customers may be impacted and be prepared to “weather the storm” together! [post_title] => Space Weather [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => space-weather [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [140] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2085 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-01-23 15:30:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-23 20:30:02 [post_content] => The storm of foreclosures continues to rage for homeowners struggling to weather through this rough economy. The West Coast has taken the hardest hit recently, while the Northeast has fared much better. The current foreclosure upsurge is highly concentrated in Las Vegas, NV as 6 of the top 10 worst hit zip codes fall within the city’s boundaries. According to RealtyTrac, which collects and aggregates foreclosure data from more than 2,200 counties and covers more than 90 percent of U.S. households, the top 5 foreclosure cities currently are:
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Chicago, IL
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
The overall foreclosure forecast indicates the storm will begin to weaken in 2012, with the worst being behind us. However, industry experts do expect an uptick in numbers at least in the early part of this year due to some filing errors that have caused a reporting backlog of 2011 activity. Why is this important for your business? It’s critical to understand your customers and your market trade area and how the economy is impacting both. The need to realign your franchise and/or sales territories to maximize your business opportunities should be a topic you visit regularly. With GeoMetrx’s mapping software, realigning territories is quick and easy. Take a look at the map below which shows the states hardest hit by foreclosures in December 2011. Hover over a state for overall foreclosure rates. Click on a state for a county distribution, and then again on an individual county for even further details. [post_title] => Foreclosures: The Storm Rages but Shows Signs of Weakening [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => foreclosures-the-storm-rages-but-shows-signs-of-weakening [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [141] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2001 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2012-01-13 09:00:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-13 14:00:31 [post_content] => As one of the franchise industries to watch in 2012, let’s take a closer look at Resale Shops. Ever since the economy turned south, consumers have been turning in increasing numbers to resale and thrift shops in just about every durable good category.  The resale industry is booming as consumer’s look for ways to stretch each and every dollar further.  New stores continue to enter the industry while established businesses are opening additional locations.  According to NARTS, the Association of Resale Professionals, the industry has experienced a 7% growth in the number of stores for each of the past two years.  There are currently more than 30,000 resale, consignment and thrift shops in the United States. As the recession continues and our economic future remains uncertain, consignment store shoppers are a cross section of all age groups and socio-economic classes.  It’s become quite chic to shop resale, and it no longer carries the stigma it once did.  Retro is the new black!  According to NARTS, “…about 16-18% of Americans will shop at a thrift store during a given year. For consignment/resale shops, it’s about 12-15%. To keep these figures in perspective, consider that during the same time frame; 11.4% of Americans shop in factory outlet malls, 19.6% in apparel stores and 21.3% in major department stores.” The flexibility over inventory control for the resale business owner is a huge advantage. Reactions to market trends are immediate with the ability to adjust pricing and modify policy on which items to accept and which to turn away.  Unlike traditional retail shops that often purchase bulk quantities and rack up inventory for months in advance, resellers turn-around most of their goods within weeks. And there seems to be no shortage of goods to supply the growing demand by the value-conscience consumer, as some folks are letting go of bigger ticket items and designer clothing in an effort to close their debt gap or simply protect their nest egg. The location of a resale shop can be critical to its success or failure. A recent industry trend for resale shop owners is to establish locations with greater foot traffic as well as those that are clustered near similar businesses. When like shops open up within close proximity of one another shopping becomes an event for consumers who will actually drive further distances to reach their shopping destination.  Factory outlet shops and antique rows are good examples where shoppers can visit a variety of stores with a common theme that carry varying merchandise. If you’d like to learn more about business location strategies or franchise territory management, just let us know! [post_title] => Resale Shops: A Booming Industry [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => resale-shops-a-booming-industry [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [142] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1824 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-01-09 16:50:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-09 21:50:49 [post_content] => One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.  For Junk King, that statement couldn’t be more true!  Junk King, founded in 2005 by two friends in the San Francisco Bay Area, is one of the fastest growing franchise opportunities in America.  Junk King provides removal and hauling services of non-hazardous materials for both residential and business customers.  In addition to its commitment to fast, reliable and complete service, Junk King is devoted to the environment, recycling at least 60% or more of the junk it collects. Junk King prides itself on its ‘king size’ franchise territories providing areas of at least 500,000-population and more.  Junk King utilizes the power of the GeoMetrx franchise territory management mapping software to help map the success of its franchisees. Additionally, understanding who and where its customers are within its territories, Junk King is able to ‘…build customer loyalty by treating the customer like royalty.’ The following video details Junk King’s full-service franchise opportunity and philosophy: [post_title] => Dejunking Junk King™ Franchise Territory Management [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dejunking-junk-king-franchise-territory-management [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [143] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1948 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2012-01-05 10:00:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-05 15:00:36 [post_content] => Snow drought? Yep, snow drought! In fact, much of the US is experiencing a snow drought so far this winter. The culprit? La Niña! This weather pattern brings with it drier than normal conditions for most of the country as it passes over the US. These conditions, known as a cold phase, are the result of cooler than normal Pacific Ocean temperatures off the coast of South America. In the past half century, strong La Niña conditions have occurred about a dozen times and have ranged in length from several months to as much 2 and even 3 years. The effects of La Niña on the US climate vary by region. In the Southwest, conditions are drier in late summer and into the winter. The Central plains experience a drier fall and the Southeast a drier winter with warmer temps. In contrast, the Pacific Northwest actually endures a wetter than normal late fall and early winter along with cooler than normal temps. The opposite weather pattern, El Niño, is a warm phase which brings with it above average precipitation for much of the US, although less storminess in the northern region. Understanding impending climate changes in the regions surrounding your business operations can help you proactively adjust your strategies. Doing so can help you avoid losses while leveraging opportunities.  Preparing for the onset of a warm or cold phase is of particular economic importance to water, energy and transportation managers, as well as agriculture, fishing, forestry, and other seasonally dependent industries. The impact of being prepared for floods and droughts has far-reaching social benefits as well. Let us know if you’d like to include weather data in your next territory mapping assessment. Just for fun, check out this graphic depiction of developing La Niña and El Niño weather conditions at Geoscience Animations [post_title] => La Niña and the Snow Drought [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => la-nina-and-the-snow-drought [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [144] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1936 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2012-01-02 14:38:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-02 19:38:25 [post_content] => Where we live plays an important role in our health, but as Bill Davenhall points out in this TEDTalk, physicians typically do not take into account our “place history.” Tracking our place history and the impact it has on our health is referred to as GeoMedicine. GeoMedicine data has tremendous value and far reaching impact for individuals and businesses. As Bill says in summary, “geography always matters,” and we couldn’t agree more. [post_title] => GeoMedicine - What is your 'Place History?' [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => geomedicine-what-is-your-place-history [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [145] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1897 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-12-30 17:09:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-12-30 22:09:39 [post_content] => Predictions are a tricky business, and even when we think an answer is clear, there can still be debate.  The United Nations claims world population reached the "scary" 7 billion mark on October 31, 2011, while the U.S. Census Bureau estimates we won’t actually reach that mark until March 12, 2012. Despite differences in opinion, predictions are still very useful tools for developing business strategies and growth models.  This is especially true when approached using statistically sound methods combined with a keen understanding of one’s market.  Wow, there’s a heavy topic for a Friday.  Let’s visit this further in the New Year when our minds and spirits are rejuvenated! Speaking of the New Year, 2012 will bring many things, and there are about as many predictions out there as there are people (yep, somewhere around 7 billion, give or take!).  For just about every prediction there is an equal and opposite prediction.  For example, will the GOP take back the White House or will Obama reign for another 4 years?  Will the world actually end on 12/21/12 according to the Mayan Calendar or are the calculations all wrong?  Which country will take home the most gold in the 2012 London Olympics – China, the USA, or another emerging sports powerhouse?  Will we see the total loss of all Arctic sea ice due to continued global warming or the beginning of a global cooling era?  Only time will tell, but we can be sure of one thing; debates like these will keep tempers flaring and civilities icy! Other predictions to watch for in 2012 include:
  • Blu-ray sales to overtake DVD sales
  • Gas to reach $5/gallon in the US
  • Gold to reach $2000/troy ounce
  • Facebook to reach 1 billion users worldwide
What are you predicting for your business in 2012?  At GeoMetrx, we are predicting that whatever your hopes and dreams and goals are for the coming year, you will achieve them, and we are here to help you do just that!  Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year! [post_title] => World Population: 7 Billion or Not? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => world-population-7-billion-or-not [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [146] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1871 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2011-12-27 16:33:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-12-27 21:33:34 [post_content] => Nearly 1.5 million workers earning minimum wage will have something to celebrate on New Year’s Day – a bigger paycheck! Eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington; will raise the minimum wage rate between 28 and 37 cents per hour. This is in compliance with state laws that require minimum wage to keep up with inflation. How do the states compare to the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour?
  • 18 states pay above
  • 23 states pay equal
  • 4 states pay below
  • 5 states have no minimum wage law
The impact of increasing wages effects many aspects of the economy. It puts extra dollars in consumers’ pockets which historically leads to increased consumer spending which leads to job creation. Wage increases stimulate local economies. These wage boosts come at an opportune time for some with the payroll tax cut still undecided and only on a short-term extension until February. Higher wages also impact businesses that rely on a minimum wage workforce. How will these changes affect your business? How will these changes affect your territory management strategy? It’s important to take these kinds of metrics into account when making decisions for 2012 and beyond. The GeoMetrx mapping software has a wealth of demographic data that can help you map your success.  If you'd like to learn more about tapping into this data, just let us know. [post_title] => Minimum Wage Increases in 8 States [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => minimum-wage-increases-in-8-states [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-06 10:16:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-06 15:16:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [147] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1786 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-12-22 13:27:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-12-22 18:27:52 [post_content] => Season's Greetings from GeoMetrx   [post_title] => Season's Greetings [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => seasons-greetings [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [148] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1753 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-12-21 19:25:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-12-22 00:25:56 [post_content] => Location, Location, Location – you hear it all the time.  Is location important to your business?  If your customers come to you then absolutely YES!  Location can mean the difference between success and failure. One of the many factors to consider when choosing the right location is knowing how your customers will get to you.  Will they travel by car, public transportation or on foot?  Will the goods you provide be dependent on their mode of transport?  Will foot traffic bring you more customers?  The answers to questions like these will be different for every business. A nifty little website, called Walk Score, can assist you in your location decision based on how your customers will get to you.  A ‘Walk Score’ is a number  between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.  Here is the scale: Walk Score®       Description 90–100                Walker's Paradise — Daily errands do not require a car. 70–89                   Very Walkable — Most errands can be accomplished on foot. 50–69                   Somewhat Walkable — Some amenities within walking distance. 25–49                   Car-Dependent — A few amenities within walking distance. 0–24                     Car-Dependent — Almost all errands require a car. Understanding your customers, who they are, where they are and how they conduct their business will enhance your bottom-line.  Mapping your business trade area means mapping your success. [post_title] => Location, Location, Location - How Will They Reach You? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => location-location-location-how-will-they-reach-you [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [149] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1738 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-12-19 15:10:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-12-19 20:10:32 [post_content] => If you’re wondering what the hottest trends are in franchising, look no further than Entrepreneur’s 10 Industry Trends for Franchises in 2012.  Some on the list are the usual suspects that have been showing consistently steady growth for years, while others are some new up-and-comers. The industries with the greatest expected potential are: Burger Chains Child Care Centers Children’s Enrichment (Arts, Sports, Science, etc.) Fitness Industry Health Services Resale Stores Sandwich Shops Senior Care Spa Services Tutoring Services Always remember to thoroughly research and analyze any market before making a franchise decision, whether you are expanding into new territory or realigning existing market areas.  It’s critical to your success to know who your competitors are and to evaluate your customer base.  Understanding your territory is the single best investment you can make in your franchise business. [post_title] => Franchise Trends 2012 - Opportunity Knocks [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => franchise-trends-2012-opportunity-knocks [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [150] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1629 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2011-08-03 16:11:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-08-03 21:11:32 [post_content] => Here is a map showing where people (data collected from users) are spending the most money on fuel. No surprise that the Bay Area in California leads the list but number 2 may have you scratching your head, Birmingham AL. The lowest on the list is New York City which makes sense since the public transit system and taxis are their main source of transportation. Provided by **Click image to enlarge**

Fuel Consumption Map

Can GeoMetrx help with fuel consuption? Yes. If you are running a sales organization and need to create territory maps GeoMetrx will incorporates our travel time database to reduce windshield time for your sales reps.  Request a free demo now!

[post_title] => Where are people spending the most money on Fuel? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => where-are-people-spending-the-most-money-on-fuel [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [151] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1568 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2011-06-24 17:39:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-06-24 22:39:09 [post_content] =>

Creating Profitable Franchises:  Exclusive Territory Mapping - Best Practices

Creating an exclusive franchise territory strategy can be challenging.  Many different factors play a role in the success, or demise of a territory.  Doing your homework ahead of time, laying the proper groundwork for a successful AND profitable territory is a major factor.  You want to build your brand, and instill confidence in your franchisees, so below are some best practices for simplifying the process.

Be Proactive:

Have you ever been in a situation where you sold a territory in a new metro market just to get the deal?  After the territory was in place, did you realize that the new franchisee took the best of the best target neighborhoods, leaving surrounding areas are not sellable?  How do you prevent this?  Be proactive.  By proactively mapping out undeveloped areas you can ensure that you maximize the number of profitable territories that a market can support.  Take Pittsburgh, PA for example, a mid-sized metropolitan area with 2.3 million in population.   Your franchise defines territories by groups of ZIP codes of at least a population of 500,000.  Pittsburgh should then be able to support 4 territories without any problems…if you map them out correctly.  Once you have a prospect interested in Pittsburgh and you have already mapped out the optimal 4 territory scenario, they can simply select one of the four areas.  Generally, minor adjustments can still be made without negatively impacting the whole area.

Use Fresh Data:

Data sources change frequently and for good reason, people move, businesses expand and contract and the demographic landscape is in constant flux.  Most of the major data providers update their business and consumer demographics at least one a year.  Some even update quarterly.  If your territories are valued at a key demographic figure, i.e. population, then it is in your company’s best interest to have the most up-to-date data available.  Take the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro, whose population saw a significant increase by approximately 25% according to the U.S. Census Bureau from 2000 to 2010.  The population grew by more than a whopping 1.2 million over ten years!  If your territory pricing is dependent on population you could stand to leave thousands of dollars on the table.  If you charge a $0.25 per person in a territory and your population is off by 100,000 you just lost $25,000.  Moral of the story?  Keep your data current, and use sources you trust for mapping and demographics.

Consider Using Geographies that Rarely Change:

This one won’t be easy.  In my experience, the majority of Franchisors selling exclusive territories are using ZIP codes.  ZIP codes are safe, easy to identify with and highly recognizable.  Everybody knows what ZIP they live in.  The problem with ZIP codes is that they are very dynamic, more than most people know and this can cause the potential for unnecessary conflict.  ZIP codes are postal geographies and they are managed and maintained by U.S. Postal Service.  The post office changes ZIP codes MONTHLY.  Consider using Census geographies, such as Census Tracts or Census Block Groups.  These usually don’t change and it’s about once a decade when they do.  Census Tracts and Census Block Groups are also more granular than ZIP codes and you can often get much more precise with your franchise territory definition.  Regardless of how you choose to define your territories, make sure you reference the geographic building blocks you use as well as the source and the vintage of the boundaries used.

Build Greater Value for your Franchisee:

Would you like someone to hand you a highly targeted list of prospects for your concept?  So would your prospective and existing franchisee’s.  There are many tools out there that would enable you to create highly targeted lists of businesses and consumers that you can provide to your franchisees.  This can give them the ability to hit the ground running and start driving revenue for themselves and royalties for the franchisor.  This shouldn’t be one time event either, you can easily provide updates regularly and foster a strong relationship with your franchisee.

Utilize Technology to Win Business:

So the phone rings, you answer, and on the other end you have a prospect interested in investing in your franchise.  They are 2000 miles away in an unfamiliar market and they want to know what’s available, now.  Web-meeting software can instantly show them, using your franchise mapping software, what’s available in their market.  A service called is an excellent option, and its easy and free!* (*At the time of writing)   A franchise territory mapping software, such as GeoMetrx is crucial and can tie all these points together for you.  Be sure to select one that can perform all of the above and you will find yourself in a position for success.

A consistent and calculated territory strategy is important in ensuring the success of a franchise, for both the franchisor and the franchisees.  There are tools out there to help you get the outcome you desire.  Be proactive with your territory development.  Always maintain access to current data.  Eliminate unnecessary conflict by using stable territory geographies.  Give your franchisee’s prospecting lists to help them drive more revenue and higher royalties.  Finally, utilize technology to help you win more business.  These are just a few strategies to help new and established franchises succeed.  For more information please feel free to contact me by email:

Stay grounded, Rich Mithoff [post_title] => Exclusive Territory Mapping - Best Practices [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => exclusive-territory-mapping-best-practices [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [152] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1438 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-06-03 14:06:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-06-03 19:06:26 [post_content] => This is an excellent example of deriving some new and interesting information from geographically tagged data.  Eric Fischer has developed a library of maps (for 133 cities worldwide) showing the locations of photos taken by local versus tourists within various metros using OpenStreetMap.  Here is a description of how he did it from Flickr; Some people interpreted the Geotaggers' World Atlas maps to be maps of tourism. This set is an attempt to figure out if that is really true. Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in places that tourists don't visit. Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month). Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all. The maps are ordered by the number of pictures taken by locals. Stay Grounded, Kent [post_title] => Mapping Locations of Local & Tourist Photos on Flickr [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mapping-locations-of-local-tourist-photo-on-flickr [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [153] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1318 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-03-22 11:19:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-03-22 16:19:24 [post_content] => Below are several animated time-series maps showing the projected geographic dispersion of several radioactive elements coming from the Fukushima Nuclear disaster site. I discovered these in a recent post on the Zero Hedge site. The original source is the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) based in Austria. A full English language document explaining the current situation and what the colors mean are at this link. Essentially, the further to the right on the color scale, the worse the fallout is. That said, ZAMG does clearly state "there is currently no health risk whatsoever" in areas outside Japan.

A projection of radioactive Xenon 133 which is now reaching Far Eastern Russia and North America.

Ausbreitung der Wolke von Fukushima/Edelgas Xe-133/ (globales Bild)

A Projection of Radioactive Iodine 131 over Japan

Ausbreitung der Wolke von Fukushima/permanente Freisetzung/Jod-131

A Projection of Radioactive Cesium 137 over the Pacific

Ausbreitung der Wolke von Fukushima/permanente Freisetzung/Cs-137 (globales Bild)

Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG)

I haven't seen these maps in the mainstream media yet. I'd be interesting in understanding more about the source data ZAMG is using for these projections and if that data is accurate or perhaps being under reported. If we could get our hands on some of the resulting fallout dispersion polygons, we could load them up in GeoMetrx and run some reports to see how much of the US population is being exposed to these various types of radiation. Stay Grounded, Kent [post_title] => Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Fallout Maps [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => fukushima-nuclear-disaster-projected-fallout-maps [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [154] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1283 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2011-03-02 16:46:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-03-02 21:46:50 [post_content] => A great blog posting about Sales Strategy and Management from our friends at Leading Strategies. The focus of this article is how everything in an organization comes back to sales.  Strategic planning, forecasting and delivering are all sales centric and its critical to pay attention to these components and execute. Mapping and Aligning Sales Territories and Balancing Workloads are also key components that are often overlooked.  GeoMetrx provides the tools needed to map sales territories, balance workloads, develop fair quotas, design profitable territories and more. Please read the article and tell us what you think. [post_title] => Sales Strategy & Management [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sales-strategy-management [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [155] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1251 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-02-14 16:37:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-02-14 21:37:33 [post_content] => I have always been a fan of maps showing data as flows. This interactive map from the Wired Magazine illustrates international criminal trade. I have provided a quick screenshot here, but click through this link for the full interactive map. Stay Grounded, Kent [post_title] => Mapping Transnational Organized Crime [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mapping-transnational-organized-crime [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-25 14:17:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-25 19:17:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [156] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1154 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2011-01-27 19:31:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-01-28 00:31:47 [post_content] => Ever want to know how far you can fly from your home airport?  This interactive map from is amazing.  Give it a try! Click here to access the map. [post_title] => How far can you fly for $500 - A great interactive map from Kayak [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-far-can-you-fly-for-500-a-great-interactive-map-from-kayak [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [157] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1150 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2011-01-20 17:29:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-01-20 22:29:59 [post_content] =>

The U.S. franchising industry is poised for modest growth in 2011, according to two new studies to be released this week.

Franchise businesses in most sectors are expected to add more store units and employees this year, concludes an analysis produced by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the International Franchise Association, a trade group in Washington. PWC attributes the positive outlook in large part to the recently enacted tax and unemployment benefits package, which includes payroll and income tax cuts.

[franchise]Getty Images

The study projects that the number of franchise units will grow 2.5% in 2011 to 784,802. Last year, franchise units increased just 0.3%, and their ranks declined 3.6% in 2009.

Franchises are also expected to create 194,000 new jobs in 2011, a 2.5% increase that will bring total employment to an estimated 7.8 million. Franchises expanded their payrolls 0.6% in 2010 after shedding 2.8% of their employees in 2009.

Economic output—the gross value of the goods and services a business produces—is projected to grow 4.7%, or $33.3 billion, for franchise businesses, reaching an estimated $739.9 billion in 2011, PWC said. Last year, economic output rose 3.4%, following a 0.3% increase in 2009.

By sector, all business lines except business services are projected to increase in store volume and employment this year. The largest gains in these areas are expected in lodging, automotive and retail products/services. In terms of economic output, industries expected to see the greatest increases are automotive, commercial and residential services, personal services and retail food.

Business is starting to improve for Driven Brands Inc. and its six franchise brands, which include Maaco and Meineke, said Ken Walker, chairman and chief executive of the Charlotte, N.C., auto-repair company. Following a relatively flat 2009, Driven Brands's revenue increased 3.1% last year, and Mr. Walker anticipates a 5% increase in 2011 sales. "We're going to see a good period," he said. "I am very confident."

Meanwhile, a recent survey of 142 franchisees by the franchise association also suggests that 2011 will be a better year for their businesses. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they expect "moderate to significant" increases in same-store sales over the next 12 months, while 40% said they expect to see an improvement in business conditions. Forty-five percent said they expect to increase employment "moderately to significantly."

To be sure, survey respondents also noted that obtaining sufficient funding remains a major hurdle to success. Thirty percent said lack of credit has had a "significant impact on ability to expand business," and 25% reported it has had a "moderate impact." In addition, 42% of franchisees said they've seen "no improvement" in access to credit in recent months, while 28% reported a "moderate improvement." Just 18% said that a lack of credit had "no impact" on their business and that they were able to obtain financing, while 27% said their business did not require any financing.

"Without more consistent access to credit, franchisees can't grow," said Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the association. "We're beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but clearly again we have a long way to go."

These days, only about 40% of BrightStar Care franchisees rely on bank loans to get started, add more units or make renovations, whereas three years ago just about all of them tapped home-equity loans for such purposes, said Shelly Sun, chief executive officer. Today, 40% of the home health-care company's 195 franchisees nationwide are also funded by owners' retirement savings, and 20% operate with cash investments, she said.

BrightStar Care earned $100 million in system-wide sales last year, up from $52 million in 2009. The company projects sales of $175 million in 2011, plus the opening of 86 more locations. Its corporate staff increased to 53 people last year and "because of the [extension of] the Bush tax cuts, we plan to add 15 additional personnel in 2011," Ms. Sun said. She further attributes the company's expansion to a growing preference among seniors for home-based health care rather than relocation to a nursing home or assisted-living facility.

To help prospective franchisees get started, some franchisors have begun offering in-house financing options in recent years. Nadiene Raia said she launched a Money Mailer franchise last September by borrowing roughly $30,000 of the $40,000 total cost from the direct-mail advertiser. The loan includes the option to defer interest-free payments for the first two years.

Ms. Raia had previously been laid off from a publisher position at an alternative weekly newspaper in Sarasota, Fla., and she said she didn't bother to seek out a bank loan because she lacked a track record of owning a business. "For somebody that's looking to get involved in franchising and doesn't have the capital, this is the way to go," she said of the option she chose.

Article by Sarah E Needleman at the Wall Street Journal.  01/12/11

[post_title] => Franchise Industry Shows Glimmer of Recovery - [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => franchise-industry-shows-glimmer-of-recovery-wsj-com [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [158] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1129 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2011-01-17 13:45:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-01-17 18:45:22 [post_content] => Ok, so we are now over halfway through the first month of 2011...when is the 2010 Census data going to surface?  This timeline may help clear up some of those questions floating around out there. Click Here to access the timeline. Census 2010 Logo [post_title] => Census 2010 Interactive Timeline [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => census-2010-interactive-timeline [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [159] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1123 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2011-01-10 19:06:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-01-11 00:06:47 [post_content] => This is a very well done video-graphic from National Geographic. Its only 3 minutes but the cram a lot of interesting stats. Enjoy. [post_title] => The World's Population to Reach 7 Billion by the End of 2011 - A Video-Graphic by Nat Geo [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-worlds-population-to-reach-7-billion-by-the-end-of-2011-a-video-graphic-by-nat-geo [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [160] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1104 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-12-14 11:16:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-12-14 16:16:09 [post_content] => This is an excellent interactive map courtesy of the US Census Bureau.  It shows population changes state by state between each decennial census starting in 1910.  Take note that the 2010 Census data is due on December 21 so come back in a few days to see how your state does in 2010.  Also keep in mind that this is just state population data and the full 2010 Census outcome won't likely be available for several months yet. Enjoy the map! If you have any questions about data reporting and mapping please let me know. Rich Mithoff 888.848.4436 x4 [post_title] => Interactive Population Change Map Covering Every Census over the last 100 Years [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interactive-population-change-map-covering-100-years [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [161] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1097 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-11-19 14:46:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-19 19:46:13 [post_content] => Franchise organizations today are faced with a serious challenge, to produce more with less.  How does your organization manage this issue?  Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question, one to get the wheels turning.   I am sharing 5 strategies below that I have regularly encountered over the years from listening to clients and mapping my own territories. 1.   Define your Territories Before they are Sold. This may seem easier said than done but there is nothing worse that knowing you could have squeezed more franchise territories into a market than you did.  A market that can handle 3 territories but only contains 2 is a major revenue loss.  By proactively creating accurately defined territories, i.e.: 50,000 Owner Occupied Housing Units, you not only portray confidence in a territory’s success based on a standard benchmark, but you also create a demand.  If you can create just 1 additional territory to maximize revenue, you win. 2.   Utilize the Most Current Internal and External Data. In today’s economy, many major markets are in constant flux so make sure you have access to reliable, up-to-date data.  There are multiple sources for updated Census Demographics and Business Data that can prove invaluable to making sure your sites or territories are located effectively to generate expected profits.  You likely have internal company data, such as revenue by zip or customer sales data that can help predict future results. Make sure you use it. 3.   Do Your Own Site Research. Many Franchise owners count on their brokers to provide site reports around locations they are proposing to you.  Brokers often have access to demographic data and mapping services but do you know how up-to-date it is?  Isn’t your broker trying to sell or lease a property and make a commission?  The cost for choosing the wrong location can cost more than lost sales from that location, and it is a strike against you when other franchise prospects inquire about the success of your concept. 4.   Create Territories by Utilizing Specific Geographies. Territories that are defined by specific geographies, such as ZIP codes, counties, or standard Census boundaries are much easier to control and gauge.  Data is almost always tied to specific geographic areas and it is much easier to manage expectations with the demographic make-up of those territories.  Territories defined by a set of landmarks, like highways and rivers are much more difficult to measure and therefore very challenging to predict success. 5.   Maintain Easy Access to Data. With so many tools and resources available to us keeping things organized is extremely important.  When it comes to territory data and demographic data it is critical to have easy access to it.  If a potential franchise prospect wants to see a breakdown of the territory under consideration you should be in a position to provide it within minutes.  This not only saves you valuable time putting it all together but it decreases the possibility for the prospect to continue shopping elsewhere.  Data should be easily accessible and transferable which makes it much easier for the client to access it on the other end. is a powerful web-application that will allow you to apply the 5 strategies above.  For more information please contact Rich @ 888.848.4436 x4, go to or request a demonstration/free trial -- Click Here Stay Grounded, Rich Mithoff [post_title] => 5 Strategies to Maximize your Franchise Sales [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 5-strategies-to-maximize-your-franchise-sales [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [162] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1065 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-08-19 17:46:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-08-19 22:46:48 [post_content] => Franchise Companies are growing quickly these days and much of this growth is seen internationally.  Now with growth comes growing pains which we all know is a normal part of business.   Don't jump to any blind conclusions...when it comes to marketing, site selection and territory mapping, knowing what applications to use and how can be quite  a daunting task. With different countries comes different geographies and different data.  Take for example the widely known United States five digit ZIP code.  Everybody can identify with their home ZIP.  On a side note, the ZIP code was introduced in 1963 and ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan.  The ZIP code is a common geography for Franchisors to define their territories in the States.  They are easy to use with demographic data or with your own company data.  But when crossing the border north into Canada you will need to find another option.    A similar geography in Canada is the Postal Code, a 6-digit code made up of letters and numbers, but they are MUCH smaller.  Boundaries for the first three characters of the Canadian Postal Code (known as the FSA or Forward Sortation Area) are most similar in size to US 5-digit ZIP codes.  Every country has their own unique geographies...what also compounds the challenge of marketing, site selection and territory mapping is the data. Data is a key component to any marketing and mapping efforts.  What are your data sources? Are they reputable? How often are they updated? What is the source?  In the US, the dicennial Census takes place every ten years.  Currently in process the 2010 Census Data will not be widely available until early 2012 at best.  Data providers are still using the 2000 Census and its updates to create current and more "marketing friendly" estimates and projections.  Most companies release annual updates and one, our partner PopStats, releases quarterly updates.  The Canadian Census is performed every 5 years, with the most recent being 2006. Now, throw in Europe, Asia, Latin America and other regions around the world in and it can get pretty confusing.  GeoMetrx has access to most of the more industrialized countries and datasets and they are all capable of accurate site analysis, territory mapping and alignment and other marketing capabilities for the internationally expanding franchise. Stay Grounded, Rich If you are interested in our service, or just want to ask me a few questions regarding international data sources please feel free to call or email.  My contact info is below. Rich Mithoff  |  Geographic Enterprises  |  888.848.4436 x4  | [post_title] => Is your Franchise Expanding Internationally? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => is-your-franchise-expanding-internationally [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [163] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 941 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-07-17 00:21:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-07-17 05:21:40 [post_content] => This is a very interesting map from and Jon Bruner showing the migration patterns in several major US Counties.  The data is 2008 but still very intriguing.  Check out your county, is it growing or shrinking?  Los Angeles appears to be in decline while King County (Seattle Area) is growing.  Dallas appears fairly even with inward and outward movement. Click here to see the interactive map You can clear the lines and find your county for more relevant data.

[post_title] => Where are Americans Moving? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => where-are-americans-moving [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [164] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 791 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-06-10 14:34:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-06-10 19:34:36 [post_content] => I never thought such a simple, logical feature such as viewing data at a ZIP Code level would be such a tremendous benefit to franchise companies.  That is a recurring theme I hear on a daily basis, "can you help me create territories by zipcodes based on populations segments of 200,000?"  From Junk Removal to Children's Services, Franchise Developers  save  money and countless hours by creating territories and managing them online.  There are a few of these applications out there but I am not aware of any that are web-based and at the price point GeoMetrx is...starting at just $1990 a year.  Very well equipped subscriptions are generally less than $5000 a year. How can Franchise Developer use GeoMetrx for Territory Management?
  • Import and Export territory structures including geography based (postal-code) or point based (retail stores, home based businesses, hospitals)
  • Build new Territories accurately and equitably in just minutes
  • Balance Territories based on hundreds of demographic variables (Households, Income, Owner Occupied Housing Units, etc.)
  • Create customized territory maps within GeoMetrx or utilize our Google Earth/Maps export
  • Minimize travel-times
  • Run real time scenarios for potential clients and distribute territory reports to their owners instantly via the web
Want to see GeoMetrx in action?  Please click here to request a personalized demonstration.

Some images below will give you a sneak peek into the GeoMetrx Territory Manager (click to enlarge)

[caption id="attachment_798" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption="Territory Manager Interface"] Territory Manager Interface[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_793" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption="Google Earth Export"]Dallas Territory[/caption] [caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption="Balancing Chart"]Balancing Chart[/caption] Effective territory management is critical to maximize revenue, why limit an are to 3 territories when it can support 4?  The cost of leaving a territory on the table is a loss of thousands of dollars.   GeoMetrx is the application that can ensure maximum profitability. Don't hesitate to contact me directly with any questions.  To schedule a web-demonstration,  click here. Stay grounded, Rich Mithoff    |    888.848.4436 x4 [post_title] => New and Established Franchises Benefit from the GeoMetrx Territory Manager [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => new-and-established-franchises-benefit-from-research360s-territory-manager [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) [165] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 824 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-05-31 15:41:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-05-31 20:41:11 [post_content] => This is a very touching map from providing a snapshot into the lives of our service men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom.  [caption id="attachment_826" align="alignleft" width="340" caption="Click the link below for a larger, interactive version."]Click the map for an interactive version.[/caption]      [post_title] => A Memorial Day map tribute to the men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-map-tribute-to-the-men-and-women-who-gave-their-lives-defending-our-freedom [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [166] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 776 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-03-09 10:57:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-03-09 15:57:17 [post_content] => In case you were wondering what data is compiled by US Census Bureau, take a peek at the form. Click here for the CENSUS 2010 Questionnaire The Census Bureau is touting it as one of the shortest in history with only 10 questions taking no more than 10 minutes to complete. You may think the Census is just a way for the government to keep tabs on us but that's not the case.  (well, maybe a little)  Its actually a very important tool to gauge how to allocate resources and federal funding to infrastructure and services.  Hospitals, Emergency Services & Disaster Relief, Schools, Senior Centers and more all benefit from comprehensive data. Companies like Geographic Enterprises compile this data for easy use and access to Economic Development Organizations, Demographic & Market Researchers, Commercial Real Estate Firms, Assisted Living Communities, Chambers of Commerce and more.  For companies to make accurate decisions on where to open their next location, who to target with direct mail and how to build a balanced sales territory it imperative to have as the best demographic resources at your fingertips.  This simple 10 question form is where it all starts. Want to see this data in action?  Feel free to contact me personally for a  GeoMetrx web-demonstration to look at basic demographics, retail spending patterns, traffic patterns, federal funding data, venture capital data and even YOUR OWN company data. Stay grounded, Rich Mithoff 888.848.4436 x4 [post_title] => Census 2010 Form Questions - Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => census-2010-form-questions-coming-soon-to-a-mailbox-near-you [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [167] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 768 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-03-01 00:56:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-03-01 05:56:16 [post_content] => Remember back 10 years ago when you received the 2000 Census questionnaire?  Has it been a decade since the turn of the century??  Times sure have changed...Google was just 2 years old and Facebook & Twitter were still years away.  A lot has happened since then, some good, some bad.  But here we are, a new decade and new optimism.  Lets take a moment to look back on the last Census and see how we can make this one even better.  Its all up to us and our participation is key. How did your community perform back in 2000?  This map from the site provides an interesting illustration.

2000 Participation

Overall I'd say we did fairly well, definitely better than our typical voter turnout.  Still some room for improvement...we can do this.  Keep an eye out for your questionnaire coming soon, mid-March is what the Census Bureau is saying.

Stay Grounded,

Rich Mithoff

[post_title] => Census 2000 Mail Participation Rates [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => census-2000-mail-participation-rates [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [168] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 759 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-02-26 20:02:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-02-27 01:02:02 [post_content] => I found this interactive map on showing the toll of the Great Recession on major US cities.  The data is a little dated, 2008, but gives you an idea of some areas that have gained wealth and those that have lost wealth.   Newport Beach, CA is leading the way with a with 28.6% of households earning over $200,000/yr and Reading, PA without a single household earning $200,ooo.



[post_title] => The toll of the Great Recession on Major US Cities [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-toll-of-the-great-recession-on-major-us-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [169] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 702 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-02-14 00:07:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-02-14 05:07:47 [post_content] =>
Is it Ten Years Already?
A blog post from about the upcoming Census and some significant changes in store.  To read the article click through to the blog below...
[post_title] => 2010 Census. Maybe the most significant decennial update ever. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 2010-census-maybe-the-most-significant-decennial-update-ever [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [170] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 750 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2010-02-11 16:47:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-02-11 21:47:21 [post_content] => This is a bit off subject, but interesting nontheless. Check out this article & heat maps of the Federal Budget on the Atlantic Monthly website.  Although they are not geographic maps, this technique (now commonly used to show stock market valuation changes by industry segment or company) is a great way of visualizing this data to make the point of how big entitlements have gotten and what changes are proposed in the new budget. The interactive version of the heat map is on the New York Times site.  Quickly switching back and forth between 2010 & 2011, you can see how segments of the budget expand & contract year-to-year.  One of the most drastic changes is the $63 Billion increase in the Net Interest paid on our debt from $188 Billion in 2010 to $251 Billion in 2011.  That is a 33.5% increase in one year.  Ouch! Stay grounded, Kent [post_title] => Heat Mapping Federal Spending [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => heat-mapping-federal-spending [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [171] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 745 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-02-08 13:24:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-02-08 18:24:18 [post_content] => Site location research is a funny thing.  In an age where many retailers are online most have a combination of internet stores and the traditional brick and mortar.  Brick and mortar still has the advantage, for now, so finding the best site can be a multi-million dollar decision.  So why not spend a few bucks on good demographic data right? CopyCat Site Location Research Site location is easy…a commercial broker finds you an available property, runs a ring study and whammo, the demographic report supports your market.  Wow…simple, right?  Not really.  How many competitors have already earned your potential customer’s loyalty?  How long will it take potential customers to know you are there?  What can you offer that your competitors can’t?  You know this is a difficult proposition. In many situations it can be easy, many retailers look at others for advice.  If you know your store has the same demographic profile as say, Wal-Mart, you may want to look for locations near one.  This so-called ‘Wal-Mart factor’ is important to many retailers.  Wal-Mart does substantial research to locate their stores where they can drive enough traffic to ensure massive profit.  If your customers are already coming to the shopping center you have the advantage of a built-in customer base.  Starbucks is another with a similar effect, a different clientele, of course, but consistent traffic in theory. On the flip side, you may want to steer clear of some retailers. The mere mention of Wal-Mart may make you shudder.  So be sure to know who your neighbors are.  You probably wouldn’t put a knitting supply store next to a local pub scene in a college town.  Actually, I think I read something on Yahoo! about knitting being a new microtrend among 20 somethings.  See what I mean?!  Research is key. Now don’t go dropping big dollars on a location based on another company’s marketing plan.  You still need to do your own research.  You can still get accurate data on a market without breaking the bank.  What did you say?  Your broker supplies free demographic reports and maps?  That’s great!  You know he wants to close the deal more than you do…just sayin’. You can always get fast and reliable demographic reports and maps from GeoMetrx and we conduct regular webinars so you can see the platform in action.  Click here to request a demo or just give us a call. Stay grounded, -Rich 888.848.4436 x4 [post_title] => CopyCat Site Location Research [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => copycat-site-location-research [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [172] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 740 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-02-03 00:34:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-02-03 05:34:47 [post_content] => Focus on: Site Selection By Katherine Field - ( February 1, 2010 ) As store expansion slows, retail site selection activities have decelerated in kind. To keep sales from stalling, most real estate departments have turned their attentions to optimizing the sites they have. Chain Store Age talked with four retail real estate experts and asked them to provide a watch list of sorts—trends and activities to keep an eye on throughout 2010. What retail real estate trends, with regard to site-selection/optimization, should we expect to see play out in 2010? Ivan Friedman, president and CEO, RCS Real Estate Advisors, New York City: Similar to 2009, we’re going to see a number of retailers optimizing their real estate assets in 2010. The result will be more negotiating of existing leases and, in some cases, more vacant spaces at low prices on the market. What this means is that the healthier, growing retailers will continue to take advantage of leasing these vacant spaces at a fraction of the price they would have previously. In 2009, Bed Bath & Beyond and Best Buy were able to lease the best spaces left behind by Linens ’n Things and Circuit City for pennies on the dollar. Kohl’s and Forever 21 purchased a number of Mervyn’s leases out of bankruptcy at bargain prices. Big Lots has been signing leases in shopping centers that would not consider them before the downturn. I think everyone was hoping we’d start to see some stabilization in 2010 and be back to ‘normal;’ instead I think we’ll see more of the same activity we experienced in 2009. Will any new markets come into play for retailers in 2010, or will stores for the most part maintain the markets they’re currently in? Charles Wetzel, president, Buxton Co., Fort Worth, Texas: There is no question that, for 2010, the majority of retailers have finalized their tepid plans for growth. 2010 will be the year of optimization for retailers within their existing markets. While some will look to new markets (rural or urban), the majority of focus will be on what a retailer can get out of its existing markets. Fantastic Sams is a great example. The chain of salons has looked at its existing markets (and new markets) and identified how many stores each market can support. From that point, they started aggressively looking for potential franchisees, having already done the real estate homework for the market. From a shopping-center owner standpoint, what are you seeing for 2010 from your retailer clients? Robert Spratt, president, Hill Partners Inc., Charlotte, N.C: Those retailers that can expand are now shifting out of renewals and restructure and closure mode, and are starting to look at new site selection. However, as you roll into 2010, what retailers are focused on is existing product. Publicly traded retailers, such as White House Black Market, have promised Wall Street that they will open a certain number of stores in the next year and will look to existing centers to open those in. We’re seeing in our existing centers an opportunity to lease space, with high-quality tenants that are repositioning or entering the market or adding in the market. But, progress is slow—evolving rather than a sudden spurt of new activity. GNC reported to us that the limiting factor for their growth next year is that there aren’t enough sites to open the planned 100 stores. Instead, the chain will open 60 to 70 stores rather than the originally planned 100. How do you predict the climate between landlords and tenants will be in 2010? Andy Graiser, co-president, DJM realty, Melville, N.Y: Just as in 2009, landlords will continue to be more flexible than they have been in years past. However, 2010 will bring about bigger challenges for landlords, in that lenders may become increasingly aggressive about landlord net operating income requirements. From a retailer perspective, we will see some growth in 2010, particularly from chains like Big Lots, which is expanding, and of course the dollar guys. In 2010 we will see more stores open than last year, but it won’t come close to the magnitude of years past. [post_title] => Focus on: Site Selection [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => focus-on-site-selection [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [173] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 723 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2010-01-29 10:49:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-29 15:49:06 [post_content] => Take a look at this animated trend map from Latoya Egwuekwe, a graduate student at American University. It is also available on YouTube here.  CNN did a story on it. Latoya's map shows how the unemployment rate has changed over the past several years by month, through November 2009. When you get to the map, click the arrow in the middle and watch how things changed. Incredible what "The Great Recession" has done. The old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" is never more true than looking at this map.  Viewing it only takes a few seconds. The darker the color, the higher the unemployment. 2009 has been BRUTAL, and any reversal in the trend is not apparent.  The current national unemployment map as of the December figure is now at 9.7%. Here is a chart from Google with the same data as a single line. Click through on the chart below to get the chart by state and county for where you are. [post_title] => Animated Unemployment Trend Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => animated-unemployment-trend-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [174] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 709 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-01-28 15:18:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-28 20:18:31 [post_content] => This interesting data visualization map shows a state by state distribution of wealth. CLICK TO EXPAND [caption id="attachment_710" align="alignnone" width="424" caption="Mapping Americas Wealth - Click to Expand"]Mapping Americas Wealth - Click to Expand[/caption] For more information on how Geographic Enterprises can assist with a data visualization project please call us.  888.848.4436 [post_title] => Mapping America's Wealth [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mapping-americas-wealth [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [175] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 692 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-01-25 00:16:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-25 05:16:42 [post_content] => Bing Maps has been making some big changes recently and I think this is one of the best yet for the casual user.  Having a party and need to add directions to your pad?  Want to add a stylistic map element to your site?  Bing Maps will now draw it for you.  Click here to check it out. [caption id="attachment_693" align="alignnone" width="464" caption="Bing Destination Maps"]Bing Destination Maps[/caption] Geographic Enterprises would like to hear about your favorite mapping sites.  Please share it with us. [post_title] => Need Help Drawing a Simple Map? Bing will draw it for you! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => need-help-drawing-a-simple-map-now-bing-will-draw-it-for-you [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [176] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 686 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-01-21 11:39:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-21 16:39:14 [post_content] => Interesting article yesterday by Sasha M Pardy on the CoStar site... Link: Based on the flurry of reports from a wide range of industry observers, there appears to be growing consensus that the worst may be over for the U.S. economy and that, with consumer spending returning to positive, a retail real estate recovery is in sight, say industry forecasters. We're not out of the woods yet, however, these same observers caution. The market should not expect 2010 to end with much-improved occupancy, higher rental rates, a flood of new space completions, or higher property sale prices. Instead, forecasters at Property & Portfolio Research, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, Jones Lang LaSalle and CB Richard Ellis, predict 2010 will mark a return to stability for the majority of U.S. retail markets. Setting a hopeful direction for retailers' sales in the coming year, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that retailers posted a 1.8% gain in sales for the holiday selling period (November-December). While positive, the sales figures are not considered "strong," but instead as setting a foundation for an expected stronger pace of retail spending in 2010. All-in-all, retailer's same store sales declined 2.4% in 2009 and for all of 2010, ICSC is forecasting a 3.9% gain in sales year-over-year across all retail segments. [post_title] => Forecasters See Return to Stability, Not a Resurgence for Retail Real Estate in 2010 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => forecasters-see-return-to-stability-not-a-resurgence-for-retail-real-estate-in-2010 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [177] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 644 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-01-14 12:36:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-14 17:36:59 [post_content] => Ever wish your Demographic Data and Mapping service would integrate with Google Earth?  You spend time analyzing data, creating maps, uploading data (you can upload custom data with GeoMetrx) and then you do it all over again in Google Earth.  Stop the madness!  Wouldn't it be easier if you could just click a button?  You can!  The following 4 screenshots will show you the basics. To request a live demonstration call 888.848.4436 ext. 4 or click here for our online request form. First, we create a map in GeoMetrx and click the "Other Views" button. [caption id="attachment_654" align="alignnone" width="411" caption="Map of Petco Park in San Diego, Themed by Median Household Income ('09) -- CLICK TO EXPAND"]Map of Petco Park in San Diego, Themed by Median Household Income ('09)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_660" align="alignleft" width="272" caption="Other Views Window "]Other Views Window  -- CLICK TO EXPAND[/caption] Second, choose between Google Earth; Google Maps; Virtual Earth; or Yahoo! Maps.  You can also specify what data you want to bring over.  You can use standard demographics or view your own data. Once you click OK, Google Earth (or other option you chose) will open and your data from GeoMetrx will be in there waiting for you. [caption id="attachment_663" align="alignnone" width="424" caption="Google Earth - Displaying a Site, Trade Area, Median Household Income Theme and a simple ZIP Code Flash Report - CLICK TO EXPAND"]Google Earth - Displaying a Site, Trade Area, Median Household Income Theme and a simple ZIP Code Flash Report[/caption] Now you can manipulate Google Earth to display the data the way you prefer.  From here you can really customize the final output with Google Earth's editing capabilities.  Change the angle of your view, utilize the 3D Buildings (available in several major cities) or dive right down to a street view. [caption id="attachment_666" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Unique "Birds Eye View" of your Site and Trade Area - CLICK TO EXPAND"]Unique "Birds Eye View" of your Site and Trade Area - CLICK TO EXPAND[/caption] If you are interested in learning more about this feature please contact Geographic Enterprises, 888.848.4436 or request a live demonstration today by clicking here. [post_title] => Google Earth Integration with GeoMetrx [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => google-earth-integration-with-geometrx [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [178] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 677 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-01-13 20:53:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-14 01:53:12 [post_content] => Did you know that you can cut the entire United States into ZIP Based Territories of Populations of 250,000 in only minutes?  This is just one simple example of how powerful the GeoMetrx Territory Manager is. GeoMetrx Territory Manager is a web-based solution for aligning territories to improve the return on sales and service resources. It  works with Strategy Map, is simple to use and is scaled to manage territory hierarchies from the smallest to the largest national salesforces. For more information: contact Geographic Enterprises @ 888.848.4436 x4 To schedule a live demonstration:  Click Here Or...Watch this quick 97 second video to learn more. [post_title] => GeoMetrx Makes Building Territories Easy! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => research360-makes-building-territories-easy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [179] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 593 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-01-10 15:05:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-10 20:05:00 [post_content] => The 2010 Census is underway but did you know the Census Bureau has been working on it since 2008?  The link below will take you to a timeline so you know what to expect in the  coming months. Census 2010 Timeline The final release of the data to the public will likely occur sometime in early 2012.  GeoMetrx can meet your demographic data needs TODAY with the most up to date data in the industry.  Our partnership with Synergos Technologies and their PopStats data is the only source with Quarterly Updates.  Don't settle for old data in this economy. Geographic Enterprises | 888.848.4436 [post_title] => 2010 Census Timeline - What to expect in the coming months. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 2010-census-timeline-what-to-expect-in-the-coming-months [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [180] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 584 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-01-07 19:35:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-01-08 00:35:41 [post_content] => GIS or GPS?? Whats the difference?  They both have to do with maps right?  Yes, but its not that simple.  This explanation should help. Geographic Information System, GIS Definition:  Geographic Information System or GIS, is a mapping system for capturing, managing, storing and analyzing data and attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth. Basically, it’s mapping software that you can load a bunch of data and attributes into and visually manipulate and display them to tell a story.  An example would be a map of San Diego showing In-N-Out Burger Locations and Total Households themed by ZIP.  Click here to see the example Legend has it that the first rudimentary GIS was used by Cro-Magnon man as he drew pictures of his hunting grounds (map) and locations of animal migration routes (attributes).  No really, I’m serious…this improved his hunting efficiency as modern GIS can help you “hunt” for customers.  Please use GeoMetrx for your maps and not cave walls…ok? Global Positioning System, GPS Definition:  A satellite navigation system which calculates your position on the earth’s surface with the use of a GPS receiver.  The satellite network is owned and maintained by the US Dept. of Defense and the accuracy of the signal is intentionally degraded for civilian use. GPS is great tool that many of us use everyday.  The most widely used is vehicle navigation to help us get from one place to another, find a gas station, alternate routes and even display live traffic.  Vehicle navigation is a combination between GPS and GIS since it displays attributes like road networks, points of interest, restaurants, etc.  You’ll also find GPS in some many phones and vehicle recovery systems too. I know you may be thinking, why isn’t the GPS in my car as accurate as a Stealth Bomber?  Well, I think you may be able to answer that question on your own.  What you may not know is that civilian grade GPS is accurate to about 20 feet (just fine for finding your favorite burger joint) and military grade GPS is accurate to less than a foot. As you can see GIS and GPS are both very powerful tools that can benefit anyone wanting to be more aware of his/her surroundings.  Whether used for business or personal use GIS and GPS will be a regular part of our everyday life. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions, [post_title] => Is it GIS or GPS? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => is-it-gis-or-gps [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [181] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 613 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2009-12-30 12:03:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-12-30 17:03:15 [post_content] => Working with our partners at Cartifact, we have put together a Free Area Code Reference Map.  Ever since getting Caller ID more than a decade ago, unknown area codes have always sparked the thought "Who and where is that?"  This map and index answer that question in a quick glance. By the way, if you are not aware of Cartifact, you should be.  They are THE premier provider of cartographic services in North America, true artisans in a trade which is now dominated by software automation for use by the untrained.  Producing large quantities of maps has become really easy. Producing elegant and intuitive maps is still an art and is quite rare these days. We are offering this map free to promote GeoMetrx and GeoPrinter large format map printing services.  Please let us know what you think. Stay grounded, - Kent [post_title] => Free 2010 Area Code Reference Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => free-2010-area-code-reference-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [182] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 634 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2009-12-18 15:28:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-12-18 20:28:25 [post_content] => How many of us have scribbled directions on a napkin or scrap piece of paper to help us get to a place we aren’t very familiar with. I have – and I am sure you have to. Did you draw any streets on your paper?  Or did you just write turn left here, right there and it’s the 3rd building on the left.  Just scribbling down some directions are just that... directions.  So what would make it a map?

GeoTopic of week: Definition of a map

Maps come in many varieties. Typically in GeoMetrx you will see site, thematic and territory maps. I will cover more on those in a moment.  Based on my professional map drawing experience, yes, I was a cartographer* for AAA, maps require a few items to be called a map.  Remember, these “rules” are not set in stone. To me, if you draw some lines and arrows and it helps me get from point A to point B, I say that qualifies as a map.  Who am I to say what your map MUST have.  The most important and only thing it MUST do is get a message across to the user.  Technically speaking your map will need a title, legend, scale and a north arrow.  Sounds simple enough right? I am sure you have all created or used a site map, a map representing a location that you are interested in viewing its surroundings.  Let’s say you were opening a coffee shop and you have a site available to you. You create a map with that site but you may want more info. You probably want to make sure you are in a busy area with plenty of people driving by to stop at your location. If this is the case you can add traffic counts to your map. You may also want to make sure there aren’t any Starbucks close by (that is pretty difficult since they seem to be everywhere…they are the cockroach of the retail industry right?…yes, I am a coffee addict.) so locating your competitors and adding them to your map is key.  All this data will help you make a decision based on your surroundings.   As to other data, such as the type of clientele you are after, you will have to create a thematic map. Thematic maps will allow you to display data that you don’t have as a point or site. Hopefully you know what demographic you client will be. A thematic map will allow you to find those areas that have high densities of your client base. One example of a thematic use the color range “red is hot, blue is not” to show you where your ideal areas are. Now you may be asking, “Why can’t I have all this info on one map?” You can!  It’s very simple to incorporate both maps and can be done in GeoMetrx. To sum it all up, maps need to convey a message. Whether it is directions from your house to your kid’s little league game across town or a thematic site map showing adult population distribution and traffic counts around your soon to be opened coffee shop, your map is a geographical story. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions, rich@geo-e *Cartographer: one who draws maps. [post_title] => Common Ground Blog Topic of the Week: Definition of a Map [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => common-ground-blog-topic-of-the-week-definition-of-a-map [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [183] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 602 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2009-11-28 11:50:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-11-28 16:50:05 [post_content] => Here at Geographic Enterprises, we talk about how geography as literally being the 'common ground' for understanding our world, so we thought this would be an appropriate name for our blog.  We are new at blogging, so please bear with us.  We want to make this beneficial to the community. Let us know what you think and feel free to share your suggestions and ideas for our blog, our company, and enhancements to any of the products and services we offer.  Thank you for your interest. Stay grounded, - Kent [post_title] => Announcing the Launch of the Common Ground Blog [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => common-ground-blog [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-10 20:24:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-04-11 01:24:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) -->