Do you need help picking a summer vacation destination - one that's not just great, but surreal? If so, this blog's for you!
It's that time of the year again - I've got gobs of vacation time saved up, but I was drawing a blank on where to go... So I turned to my trusty pal Google, did a few searches, and found an interesting article about the 18 most surreal places in the US. A veritable bucket list of summer destinations that could satisfy my vacation appetite for years to come!
The article listed each location, gave a short description, and included cool photos. This was great for getting started, but it just wasn't quite the interface to the data that I wanted:
Being one of those geographically challenged Americans, I didn't really have a concept of exactly where these places were located, just based on their names. I had a general idea (say, within 500 miles), but I'm more of a "GPS Person" when it comes to locating a place I haven't been to before.
So I created a SAS dataset with the lat/long location of each of these destinations, and plotted the locations as markers on a map. I set up html tags so you can hover your mouse over each marker to see the name, and click on them for more info.
I don't usually let you see the intermediate (bad, or less good) versions of my maps, but I'm including this one, so you can see the difference in it and the final map. There were a couple of destinations in Alaska, so I included Alaska and Hawaii in the bottom corner of the map. This is the traditional place to put these two states so they fit conveniently onto the page, but it just didn't feel right clicking on something that was visually south of California (on the page layout, at least), to see images of the Northern Lights. Read More