Maggie Mertz: Looking Outwards-05

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 12.07.02 AMI find the project Bars vs Grocery Stores, fascinating. First of all, because it was an attempt to see if a previous statistic was actually correct. The creator, Nathan Yau, looked into the amount difference between Grocery Stores and Bars in areas, not only in the United States, but in several other countries. He tried to find a gradient between the values of the previous study, showing how sometimes the ration of bars to grocery stores is much more drastic than in other areas. I also admire that he looked into the other theories people had about the original data, and disproved them, showing that the areas in the United States didn’t have more bars because of more German and Polish immigrants, because in Poland and Germany, there are not nearly as many bars as grocery stores. One of the things I wonder though, is that did he only search on google for grocery stores, because maybe in Spain, Italy, and France, maybe they are called something different, or there are other specialty shops for food. Either way, the artist created what he intended to, a map that showed the different degrees of grocery store to bar rates in America and elsewhere. He used colors that were easy to understand, and a gradient that showed a  varied and a less binary visualization of data. Nathan used the newer data of Google Places API and scanned every 20 miles, in 10 mile radius’s for the ratio of grocery stores to bars, and had it generate on the map. He also calculated the percentages so that the graphics would be easy to digest quickly. I find the results to be very surprising and strange. It definitely gives you something to think about.


Nathan Yau
Bars Versus Grocery Stores Shot 2015-10-02 at 12.06.51 AM