# 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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Are winters colder in North Carolina, or Canada?

If someone proposes a bet to you, then you should be suspicious that they already know they're going to win. And one frequent topic of such bets is the weather... What if I bet you there's a city in Canada with a warmer average January temperature than Raleigh, NC? You

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Have Trump's tweets-per-day been increasing?

I saw an article that claimed Donald Trump recently tweeted 123 times in one day. This got me wondering how many times he typically tweets during a day, and whether this number has changed over the years. This seems like it might be a good topic to analyze with a

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What areas in NC have growing/shrinking population?

I can tell that my area (Wake county, NC) has a growing population, because the traffic keeps getting worse and worse. But it's a little difficult to quantitatively gauge growth by looking at traffic congestion. Therefore let's have a look at a more direct measurement - the actual population data!

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Mapping Antarctica, with a tile-based map

As we're getting into December, and the weather is getting colder, I thought it would be cool to plot some Antarctica data. You might remember I did this about 1.5 years ago, using good-old Proc Gmap, a special projection, and lots of tricky annotation. Well, this time let's use the

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Free maps to use with SGmap, in Base SAS!

If you don't have a SAS/Graph license, then you're probably using the ODS Graphics 'sg' procedures that come with Base SAS to create your graphs and maps. And if you've tried plotting data on a map, you probably noticed that SGmap lets you overlay point-data on an OpenStreetmap, but you

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These mortgage rates look shady to me!

The English language can be a bit tough to learn. One reason is that sometimes words can have more than one meaning. For example, the word shady can mean "of doubtful honesty or legality," or it can mean "giving shade from sunlight." Which of those meanings am I thinking about,

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Manifesting a 'Crazy Good' county ranking map

I was recently reading David Mintz's excellent SESUG 2018 conference paper on Five Crazy Good Visualizations and How to Plot Them, and saw a map that caught my eye. David showed how to create a similar map, but with completely different data - I decided to try creating a map

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The Halloween candy challenge (for kids)

You've probably heard of the stupid 'challenges' where people usually end up hurting themselves (cinnamon challenge, Carolina reaper pepper challenge, etc). I thought it might be more helpful to society to have a challenge that could actually help people, rather than hurting them! Therefore I came up with the Halloween

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When did household air conditioning become ubiquitous in the US?

We've had record high 90+ degree temperatures here in the southeast US this past week (September / October), and it has made me appreciate having an air conditioner. Indeed, air conditioners were pretty much invented here in North Carolina (see Eric Cramer). They are used in pretty much every building

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Are Democrats and Republicans split 50/50 in NC?

North Carolina is one of those key "swing states" that might possibly decide a national presidential election. And with such an election coming up next year (2020), I thought I would have a look at the voter registration data to see how it has changed since the previous presidential election

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Plotting NC's 2019 special election results on a map

Yesterday we had a 'special election' here in NC, to elect new members to the House of Representatives for Congressional Districts 3 and 9. The election got a lot of national news coverage, therefore I thought people might like seeing the results plotted on a map. Before I decided to

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How to plot hurricane data on a map

As we're in the thick of hurricane season, I'm sure some of my fellow map-makers are wanting to create their own custom hurricane maps. In this blog post, I step you through the process, so you'll know where to find all the pieces, and how to put them together. I

Data Visualization
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Got student loan debt?

It's that time of year again - the summer is coming to a close, and students are heading to college... And starting the clock ticking on accumulating that student loan debt! Before we get started, here's a little something to set the stage for this topic. This is a picture

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Where can you own a pet kangaroo in the US?

I saw an interesting kangaroo map on reddit, and although the data was deemed "not entirely reliable" it seemed like a fun topic. And also a good exercise to try out the map labeling capabilities in the new Proc SGmap choropleth maps in SAS! For those of you not really

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Mapping the drone registration data (for NC)

Flying drones was a new & exciting hobby, and very cool fad a few years ago. In recent years, the drone manufacturers have added some really nice features to make the drones easier to fly and more capable ... but the government also added some new rules that have curbed

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The *real* country names in Europe

Have you ever had one of those moments when something you had assumed was true all your life, turned out not to be true? I remember that happening in my high school Spanish class (taught by the wonderful Señor Shoaf), when he let us in on a little secret -

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Travel around the world, always in perfect weather!

The guys over at reservations.com recently posted a really interesting idea, and a map to go along with it! They worked out an itinerary where you could spend one year traveling around the world (staying in a different place each week), and always be in a comfortable temperature around 70-75°

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Fun with Mandelbrot sets and Proc SGplot

A few years ago Mandelbrot sets and fractals were all the rage! (Am I showing my age? Hahaha!) I thought creating some plots of this type of data would be a good way to sharpen my SAS programming skills, and it would make a nice/interesting example to help teach people

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Plotting data on a Census block map

As the 2020 Census approaches, I'm getting my code ready to plot the data! And a question I often hear is "Can you use SAS software to plot data on a Census block map?" Rather than tell you 'yes', let me show you 'yes' :) Preparing the map First I

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Plotting California earthquake data!

Earthquakes have been in the news lately - in particular, two very strong earthquakes that recently hit California. Exactly where did they hit? ... Let's plot it on a map! But before we get busy analyzing the California data, here's a picture to get you in the mood for studying

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Which counties in the US are still 'dry'?

We just had the big July 4th holiday weekend here in the US. And as with many holidays, there was a lot of drinking. Which got me thinking/wondering ... which counties do not allow alcohol to be sold (ie, which counties are 'dry')? And it seemed like a question that