I just found out that Girl Scout cookies haven't changed from when I was a kid. I just moved to a different area, serviced by a different cookie maker!
That's what I found out from the cool map in an article on latimes.com! The article explains that there are two different makers of Girl Scout cookies (ABC Bakers, and Little Brownie Bakers), and that each of them makes slightly different versions of the cookies. Check out their article to see side-by-side pictures and descriptions. With the information from that article, can you tell which area my friend Gene-Paul lives in, just by looking at his stash of Girl Scout cookies?
Being a map-guy, I was especially interested in their map. It showed state outlines, but the shading/coloring was based on the geography of the Girl Scout councils. Their geographical groupings might make sense for people who are associated with the Girl Scouts, but probably not-so-much for the rest of us. So I decided to re-create their map with SAS, using the more universally familiar state and county outlines, and using the colors of Girl Scout and Brownie uniforms. (It was a little difficult because there are a few areas where a county is split between councils, but I did the best I could, and it came out pretty close.) Click my map below to see the interactive version, with html hover-text to see the county names.
I used SAS/Graph Proc GMap to plot the data on maps.uscounty, and used annotate to draw the state outlines in white around each state. ODS Html created the html overlay, which contains the data-driven hover-text with the county names. It took about 4 hours to create the cookie data, and then 30 minutes to create the map. Here's the SAS code if you'd like to see exactly how it was done.
And now I'd like to finish this blog post with a picture of my friend Jennifer's daughter in her cookie-eating outfit -- Aww!!! :-)
What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? And which cookie maker do you prefer?