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Geography Powers Decision Making

HERE Mapping Resources digital mappingGeography was never a favorite subject of anyone or maybe it was, but only the minority loved it. However, it is not astonishing that the world of geography has evolved immensely over time. The studying of maps and getting the perfect locations, was never as easy as it is now. Well, thanks to technology, the innovation of digital mapping has made geography lovable and amazing to study as well.

The speed with which our world has revolutionized, we simply cannot deny the importance of proper location data. It is one of the best ways to improve relations between various industries and bring in diversity to different fields as well.

The importance of location has been magnified by the prolific utilization of smartphones. We use location in everything from our smartphones and finding the nearest coffee shop, to the collection of statistical information on who’s going through station turnstiles with pre-payment, debit or credit cards.

Geography powers a vast amount of business decision-making; whether the issue at hand is the location of a new public facility or the development of a stream restoration project, decision makers must consider such geographic matters as location, the relationship between processes at different scales, and the changing character of particular environments and landscapes. We all process information on the basis of what we see which is why location analysis is such an important tool. Geospatial analytics results in prevalent data that can be as simple as numbers in a spreadsheet, but when it’s presented to companies using tools like HERE Data Lens it can be a lot more meaningful.

Kenneth Noland is an American artist and he said:

“Context is the key for me. From context, the understanding of everything comes to me.”

For more information on HERE Mapping Resources click here.

ISPCA Emergency Beacon System

ISPCA Emergency Beacon System

Malaysian AirlinesMissing Malaysian Flight MH370 continues to be a mystery. For the families of those aboard, hope remains that the passengers and crew will be found alive. Without any conclusive evidence the plane has been lost at sea, it is easy to understand. A CNN report just released today tells of a beacon (ELT – Emergency Location Transmitter) system aboard the aircraft that did not send a distress signal, further fueling the hope that the plane landed safely, somewhere.  ELTs are designed to activate and transmit a distress signal when a crash is detected. No such signals from any of the four ELTs aboard the flight have been detected.

What’s particularly fascinating about ELTs from a geographic standpoint is how the system came to be and how it works.  A little known group, the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme (ICSPA) was first formed in 1979 as a joint effort by Canada, France, the United States and the former Soviet Union, and was formally constituted as an intergovernmental organization in 1988. The program is a satellite-based search and rescue (SAR) distress alert detection and information system, which ‘listens and watches’ for emergency beacon signals activated by aircraft, ships and backcountry hikers in distress. Whenever a distress radio beacon (ELTs for aviation use, EPIRBs for maritime use, and PLBs for personal use)  is detected, SAR services are immediately alerted, with the objective being to reduce, as much as possible, any delays in the time required to locate the people in distress and provide assistance.

Cospas-Sarsat SystemTo achieve this, the ISPCA utilizes instruments aboard geostationary and low-altitude satellites in conjuction with ground-receiving stations, also known as LUTs (Local User Terminals).  The emergency beacon radio signals are received by the satellites, downlinked to LUTs, which process the signals and generate distress alerts. The distress alerts are then transmitted to Mission Control Centers which forward them to the appropriate SAR services.

GeoStationary OrbitA geostationary satellite orbits in synch with the plane of the equator so that it remains “stationary” in relation to a fixed point on the surface of the Earth. A low-altitude satellite, on the other hand, orbits the earth at a distance of approximately 100 miles above the surface and can make a complete journey around the globe in about 90 minutes. Utilizing both types of satellites increases the probability to quickly intercept emergency beacon signals.

The Cospas-Sarsat program claims to have made its first rescue of three people in 1982, when a light aircraft in Canada crashed. As of December 2012, the program reports having provided assistance in rescuing over 35,000 people in 9,600 separate incidents. With more than 1.2 million emergency beacons around the world, the program states it rescues about 5 people a day. Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can be purchased for just a few hundred dollars. For folks who like to venture into the backcountry where no other form of communication is available, these devices can and do save lives.

Creating Territory Reports with GeoMetrx

This how-to video will show you the steps on creating reports for your Sales or Franchise Territories using GeoMetrx. Video length is 6:10.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 7 – High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 7 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 7

July 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – High Speed Rail: A Vision for the Future

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​​​: “Designing Custom Reports”

Thematic Map – Train Travel – Heat Map (Adult Population %)

Trivia Challenge​​ – Subway Train Trivia

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Utilizing Your Own Data”

This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Utilizing Your
Own Data”

THURSDAY, August 23rd at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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 American-Rails.com, “…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.

Tips & Techniques – Designing Custom Reports

GeoMetrx has a host of standard reports including executive summaries, detailed demographics, and specific variables such as traffic counts. In addition to the pre-built, quick access reports, you can also  design your own custom reports.

To create a custom report:

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.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to these datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

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July 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) Where is the oldest subway in the world?
2) Where is the oldest subway tunnel in the world?

Click here for the answers!

GeoMetrx Map Templates

Learn how to create & save map templates in GeoMetrx. Video length 4:11.

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 6 – Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 6 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 6

June 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Travel and Tourism: A Panorama of Opportunity

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​​​: “Changing the Drawing Order of Overlays”

Thematic Map – Domestic Travel Heat Map (Point of Origin)​

Trivia Challenge​​ – America’s Top Tourist Attractions

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Utilizing Your Own Data”

This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Utilizing Your
Own Data”

THURSDAY, June 14th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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; the road map to success is laid out before them, awaiting their exploration.

Tips & Techniques – Changing the Drawing Order of Overlays

There are many different overlay options available in GeoMetrx including ZIP Code Boundaries, ZIP Code Numbers, County Boundaries, City Labels, Roads, Airports, Rivers and more. When selecting and displaying the overlays on your map, one overlay feature can be covered by another. Changing the order of the overlays to best display the information you need to see is quick and easy.

To change the drawing order:

1) Expand the list of Overlays in the Map Panel by clicking on the +/- sign
2) Click the name of any Overlay and the Edit Overlays dialog box displays
3) In the Group list, select All Overlays – (choose this to alter drawing order)
4) Select the overlay that you want to move up or down in the drawing order, and drag it to the location where you want it to draw. Overlays at the bottom of the list are drawn last, and therefore on top of others.

In the two images below you can see the differences in the order of the overlays of the ZIP Code Number Overlay vs. City Label Overlay and the ZIP Code Boundary Overlay vs. the County Boundary Overlay:

Image 1: ZIP Code Number and County Boundary are at the end of the list and are drawn last, thereby placing them on top of other features

Image 2: City Labels and ZIP Code Boundaries are now at the end of the list and drawn last. Note that ‘Chicago’ can now be clearly seen in the second image, and the ZIP Code Boundaries (blue line) are drawn on top of the wider yellow County Boundaries, making both visible.

Click on any of the above images for a larger viewable version in order to see the true detail of the overlay drawing changes.

Changing the order of overlays is a quick and simple feature and when utilized  can make all the difference in presentation, yet it is often an overlooked option. Try it, we think you’ll like what you see!

Domestic Travelers

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 reasons measured)
• Travel Agent Services Used
• Hotel/Motel – Stay; Loyalty Program
• Average Amount 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.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to these datasets, contact us today at 1.888.848.4436.

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June 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) According to Forbes.com, what were the top three most visited American Tourist Attractions in 2009, in terms of number of visitors?

Click here for the answers!

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 5 – Summertime Fun: Children’s Enrichment Franchises

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 5 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 5

May 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Summertime Fun: Children’s Enrichment Franchises

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​​​: “Saving Map Views” – how to save and retrieve multiple map locations without readjusting settings

Thematic Map – Where Are All the Children?​​

Trivia Challenge​​

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Utilizing Your Own Data”

This and all our future newsletters will soon be available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Utilizing Your
Own Data”

THURSDAY, June 14th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Summertime Fun: 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 Entrepreneur.com.)

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 eco nomy to map your success.

Tips & Techniques – Saving Map Views

In GeoMetrx you can save multiple map views, allowing you to easily navigate among your locations. Saving a Map View is quick and easy.  Saved map views retain the area, scale, and any overlays thus reducing the time and frustration of adjusting your map whenever you switch from one location to another.

To Save a Map View:
• select Strategy Map
• format with your preferred settings
• click the drop down arrow in the Map Panel
• select Save Map View
• in the dialog box enter a name and an
optional description
• click Save as New Map

To Return to a Map View:
• click drop down arrow in Map Panel
• select Restore Map View
• Select the view you want to see from the list of saved map views
• click Restore Selected Map View

You can also delete any map views in this step as well by selecting the saved map view from the list and clicking on Delete Selected Map View.

This is probably one of the most valuable yet least used features in GeoMetrx. Try it, you’ll like it!

Where Are All the Children?

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.

U.S. POPULATION DENSITY (Ages 0-17)

Click to see a larger version of this map.

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.

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May 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) What is the most popular sports-related activity among children aged 7 to 17?

Click here for the answers!

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 4 – The Growing “Locavore” Movement: A Ripe Opportunity

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 4 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 4

April 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:
Feature Article – The Growing “Locavore” Movement: A Ripe Opportunity

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​ – “Customizing Territory Colors” – how to access the color selection dialog box using the Alignment panel

Thematic Map – Gardening: A Growing Hobby

Trivia challenge​​ – Tomato Trivia

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

This and all our future newsletters will soon be available through our Knowledge Center resource listed on our website.  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

Follow Us:

Blog:

Common Ground Blog

Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

“Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

THURSDAY, April 19th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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.

Tips & Techniques – Changing the Color of a Territory on the Map

You can quickly and easily customize each of your territories in GeoMetrx and you can choose from a preselected chart of colors or select a custom color.

To change the color of a territory:
Display your territories on Strategy Map.
In the Alignment Panel, click the colored square to the left of the territory name.
The Select Color dialog box displays.

To set the color, you have several choices:
Click the colored square that represents the color that you want.
Enter color values in the Red, Green and Blue text boxes.
Enter the color number in the Hex text box.
Use the slider on the rainbow color scale to select the range of color, and then drag the dot in the colored rectangle until the Current sample displays the color you want to use.
Click OK. The territory displays in the color you chose.

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.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

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April 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) Is a TOMATO a vegetable or a fruit?

2) TRUE or FALSE: In 1893, the Supreme Court ruled on the TOMATO’s status.

Click here for the answers!

GeoMetrx Common Ground News Volume 1: Issue 3 – Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 3 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

To sign up to receive the very latest and all future Common Ground Newsletters, you can sign up at the link in the top right corner of this website.

Volume I : Issue 3

March 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​ – “Saving a Map Project” – how to create and save overlay and theme settings and reuse them as a template

Thematic Map – St. Patrick’s Day – Where are the Domestic and Micro-Brew Fans Located?  Plus this month’s trivia challenge​​

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Best Practices for Building
and Managing Your Territories”

This and all future newsletters will be available on our website under ‘news.’  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at info@geo-e.com.

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner

Geo-Legend

Phone: 1.888.848.4436

Web:  www.geo-e.com
www.geometrx.com
www.geoprinter.com

Email:

info@geo-e.com

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GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

• “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

THURSDAY, April 19th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

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Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

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 improves 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.

Tips & Techniques – Saving a Map Project

Applying all the same settings from one trade area location to another in GeoMetrx can be time consuming and tricky. Saving your map as a project will make the task easier and give you the results you want.

Watch this short video tutorial and learn how quick and easy it is to save your project overlay and thematic prefrences. Once you’ve saved your project you can change trade area locations and resave the project with a different file name. The next time you access the GeoMetrx territory mapping application you can quickly reload any of your saved projects saving you the time and frustration of recreating your settings.

“Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!”

That’s Irish for Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrated on March 17th, the day honors the most recognized patron saint of Ireland. Over time it has also evolved into a celebration of Irish culture. Whether of Irish descent or not, many revel in the traditions of the holiday from wearing green to attending parades to enjoying beer and traditional Irish fare.

In recognition of the merriment of the month, our thematic map topic for March is 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 above, 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.

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March 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) True or False: There are more U.S. Residents who claim Irish ancenstry than the entire population of Ireland itself.

2) As of November 2011, how many breweries were operating in the U.S.?

a) 1,142
b) 1,927
c) 2,011
d) 2,348

Click here for the answers!

 

How to Create Territories

Demonstrates how to create new territories based on counts of businesses and population using the base territory manager module in GeoMetrx. Using this module, you can select individual geographies (like ZIP Codes or Counties) to combine, or select sets of geographies by drawing a polygon on the map using the polygon select tool. Also show how to save different versions of territories you have created. Video length is 6:30.