Where are your Girl Scout cookies made?

7

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?

cookies_gene_paul

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.

girl_scout_cookie_map

Technical details:

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!!!  :-)

cookies_jennifer

What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? And which cookie maker do you prefer?

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About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over 25 years, and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book (SAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics).

7 Comments

  1. adraine upshaw on

    I did not know anything other than Little Brownie Bakers, but from the article it looks like I've had the best.
    This is the first year that I have not had any cookies. Now I need to go find a Girl Scout! LOL

      • I remember when our local GS council merged with another council and we switched from Little Brownie to ABC because that was the other council's baker. I was a troop leader at the time. We got to vote for which baker we wanted, but I can only assume the council we merged with had more voting members. I personally prefer Little Brownie's version of the cookies, but, as you say, that is what I grew up with.

  2. The odd thing is that ABC Bakers is right here in Richmaond, VA, but apparently we get cookies from Little Brown

  3. Pingback: Where does Girl Scout cookie money go? - SAS Learning Post

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