# Author

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over a quarter century, and his specialty is customizing graphs and maps - adding those little extra touches that help them answer your questions at a glance. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University.

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Enhancing a scatter plot

A scatter plot is my go-to graph! It's what I often start with to get a feel for the data ... and I often end up using just a scatter plot. But some scatter plots are better than others ... In this blog post, I create a scatter plot of

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Canada is a geographically large country, but I've heard that much of the population lives in the small southernmost sections (near the US border). I decided to use my mapping skills, and put that to the test. Follow along, and we'll see what that looks like on a map ...

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Where are people moving to/from in the US?

With the 2020 Census numbers starting to come out, it's interesting to look at what states are gaining (or losing) people. In this example, I create a custom map similar to the ones the US Census Bureau likes to use, and plot the 10-year change in population. But before we

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How to (mis)label a map

This blog post is mostly just a bunch of fun maps ... maps that are labeled (or mislabeled) in various ways, using fun/interesting data. I focus on the 'fun' part, but if you're not careful you might also learn a little about the various ways to add labels to maps

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Which countries consume the most coal?

These days, many countries are moving away from coal, and towards natural gas, hydro, wind, and solar as ways to meet their electricity needs. I had heard that some countries still use a lot of coal (especially those countries with large coal deposits), and I was curious which countries use

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Captain Kirk travels into space!

Recently, the news has been all abuzz about William Shatner traveling into space. This was a cool event because he's the oldest person who has traveled into space (at 90 years old) ... and he was also the iconic Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek television series. This got

Data Visualization
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The Graph Guy is retiring!

The rumors are true - The Graph Guy is retiring! I've been working at SAS for about 30 years, and had lots of fun stretching the limits of SAS' graphing & mapping software over the years. But I've decided to retire while I'm still young enough to pursue a lot

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Let's dive into some data - SCUBA site data!

SCUBA diving is one of those activities that should be on your bucket list - everyone should experience it at least once! But where should you go diving? ... Coral reefs are always popular - and they are typically in shallow water, making it an 'easy' dive. But, being in

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Cary NC data - weather

Many cities have Open Data pages. But once you download the data, what can you do with it? This is my sixth in a series of blog posts where I download public data about Cary, NC, and demonstrate how you might analyze that type of data (for Cary, or any

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Cary NC data - parks and trails

Many cities have Open Data pages. But once you download the data, what can you do with it? This is my fifth in a series of blog posts where I download public data about Cary, NC, and demonstrate how you might analyze that type of data (for Cary, or any

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Cary NC data - population

Many cities have Open Data pages. But once you download the data, what can you do with it? This is my fourth in a series of blog posts where I download public data about Cary, NC, and demonstrate how you might analyze that type of data (for Cary, or any

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Cary NC data - streetlights

Many cities have Open Data pages. But once you download the data, what can you do with it? This is my third in a series of blog posts where I download several datasets from Cary, NC's open data page, and give you a few ideas to get you started on

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Cary NC data - fire incidents

Many cities have Open Data pages. But once you download the data, what can you do with it? This is my second blog post where I download several datasets from Cary, NC's open data page, and and give you a few ideas to get you started on your own data

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Cary NC data - car crashes

Many cities have Open Data pages. But once you download this data, what can you do with it? I'm going to download several datasets from Cary, NC's open data page, and try to give you a few ideas to get you started on your own data exploration! And what data

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How to make your data look worse (than it really is)

"With great power comes great responsibility." I'm not sure exactly where this quote comes from, but I think everyone should keep it in mind when creating graphs and maps! There are many design decisions that can influence how the end user perceives the data in a graph. For example: The

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How long will your dog live?

How long do dogs live? ... That's a good/tough question. Some live longer than others, but what are the determining factors? Let's throw some data to this problem, and see if we can fetch some answers! But before we get started, how about a random picture to get you into

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SAS can turn your world upside down!

Who's to say that 'north' should always be at the top of a map? Perhaps in certain situations, you might want 'south' (or some other direction) to be at the top. Perhaps you're one of our crazy Australian customers who looks at the world a little differently. Well, whatever the

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Plagues and locusts ... or is that cicadas?

I hope you're all doing well, in this year of plagues and locusts! I'm sure I don't even need to mention which plague I'm talking about. But what about the locusts? Are you up on your entomological studies? Follow along, and see if you really know what locusts are... Locusts

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Having earned the Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts, I am of course very conservation-minded, and against polluting. I'm also an avid boat paddler and fisherman, and therefore I'm especially concerned about pollution in our rivers, lakes, and oceans. I even volunteered for a week to help survey coral reefs

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SEVENTY48: Seventy miles, in 48 hours

I've got this buddy, Carter Johnson - he's a little bit crazy, but a lot of fun to follow... He holds/held several different long-distance paddling world records, and was one of the coaches for the group that paddled kayaks from Cuba to the US (see my blog post). A few

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Improving a population pyramid animation (Sweden, 1860-2020)

You've probably seen a population pyramid, such as this one I showed in a previous blog post. But let's scrutinize population pyramids a bit deeper, with an eye on special features that can make them even more useful! I was inspired to give population trees a second look by this

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Myth busting: Maine is closest US state to Africa?

In a discussion on a Reddit map group, someone claimed "Maine is the US state closest to Africa." Is that true? Can I use my SAS mapping tools to confirm, or bust, this myth? Follow along, as I dive in! ... The Map in my Head (Wrong!) My gut instincts

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Mapping the Colonial Pipeline

Here in the US, the pipeline which supplies gasoline to North Caroline (and much of the southeast) was hacked, and had to be shut down for several days. This caused gasoline shortages, and long lines at the gas pumps (as shown in the picture below, by my friend Daniel). But

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Moose Flats - the Russian nesting doll of lakes

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake (by surface area) in the world. And its largest island is Isle Royale. And its largest lake is Lake Siskiwit. And its largest island is Ryan Island. Ryan Island's largest (seasonal) pond is called Moose Flats. And it contains an 'island' (or a

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Creating a paraquat (weed killer) map

I think one of the great uses of analytics and graphics is to show things like cancer clusters on a map. There are many factors that can lead to a higher incidence of diseases in geographical areas, and chemicals are often the culprit. For example, paraquat has been potentially linked

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Feeling the effects of the 2020 Census

Every 10 years the United States conducts a Census where we count all the people. This week the 2020 Census population totals for each state were released. And how might these numbers affect you? ... One thing the Census numbers are used for is to determine how many of the

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What's the largest animal in each U.S. state?

Everybody likes to learn a bit of interesting trivia... It could make you look smart, or might help you win a bet in a bar. Or maybe give you something to amaze your kids with. Do you know what's the biggest non-domesticated land animal in your state? How about all

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Do IKEA directions cause you stress?

Have you ever brought home a piece of furniture-in-a-box, and felt undue stress while trying to make sense of the directions to assemble it? ... Apparently you're not alone! A recent analysis studied ~50,000 tweets about IKEA furniture, and determined whether the people posting the tweets were frustrated. They then

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SAS graphs for R programmers - pie charts

This is another in my series of blog posts where I take a deep dive into converting R graphs into SAS graphs. Today we'll be working on pie charts. I know, I know ... you visualization 'purists' might be wagging your finger at me, and saying "pie charts are no good."

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