Since mead is becoming popular in movies (such as Thor and The Hobbit), and even as an emerging industry in real life ... what better example to use for some SAS graphs! And who knows - this might even turn you into a mead drinker!
Let's start at the beginning. Where do they make mead, and how many meaderies are located in various parts of the US? The gotmead.com and meadmakers.org websites have this kind of information, but it is basically in long text lists. So I imported this data into SAS and plotted it on a map, which made it much easier to grok:
Click the map (above) to see the interactive version. You can then hover your mouse over the markers to see each meadery name and city. Some meaderies are very close to each other, and therefore some markers are obscured - you can look in the table below the map to see them in that case. The table has two links - one shows you a map with the meadery, and the other launches a Google search for the meadery. The closest meadery to SAS headquarters is Starrlight Mead, in Pittsboro, NC (which also happens to be my favorite mead!)
I recently got to talk to the owner of Starrlight Mead, and learn a little about mead-making. It takes a lot of sugar to make alcohol, and when it comes to mead, that sugar is in the form of honey ... tons of honey! Which made me start wondering about the honey producers/suppliers. Where are they located? How many of them are there? I found a list of suppliers on the honey.com website, imported it into SAS, and plotted it on a map (re-using the same code I had plotted the meaderies with).
And, having "The Power of SAS" in my hands, I couldn't help but take it one step further - I wrote a SAS job that combined the two maps, and allowed me to show all the honey suppliers that were within 'n' miles of any given meadery. To demonstrate, here's a map showing the honey suppliers within 350 miles of Starrlight Mead (as before, click to see the interactive map).
Pretty cool, eh?!? And guess what - you could reuse this code to create similar maps for your industry! Showing suppliers within 'n' miles of manufacturers, showing manufacturers within 'n' miles of retail stores, showing retail stores within 'n' miles of customers (or vice versa).
What's your favorite mead? (feel free to leave a comment)