Golden Software Blog

Helping you learn more about the latest product information, tips, tricks, techniques, and customer stories so you can visualize data and communicate results with ease.

Laying Out the New Lunar Year

The internet is slow. Focus has been hard to come by, and it seems like all is on the fritz! It’s a full moon tonight for us here in Colorado, there is a comet streaking across the sky, and a lunar eclipse is also visible. Could this be coincidence or the influence of something greater??

 

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Getting a Leg Up on the Registration Process for Public Schools

It seems like the more involved I am with mapping, the more uses I find for creating maps. For instance, I recently came across an article mentioning that choice enrollment deadlines for Jefferson County public schools are nearing.

For those of you unfamiliar with the public school system here in Jeffco, each family is assigned to a neighborhood school, but you can enroll your child in any public school within the county. Sounds great huh? If your neighborhood school is ranked poorly or just doesn’t suit you, you can pick another. But here’s the catch: while the registration deadline for your neighborhood school is typically sometime in August (just before the beginning of the school year), the registration deadline for a non-neighborhood school is sometime in January, and acceptance is determined by a lottery process which is subject to available space.

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Visualizing Holiday Travel Statistics with Grapher and MapViewer

Now that Christmas is just days away, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve fully entered into peak holiday travel time. If you’re travelling this holiday season, I don’t have any good advice for how to beat the security lines or what to do if your luggage is lost, but if you’re interested in some fun graphics based on factual data, look no further! I found a gold-mine of data at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and plotted up a few graphs and maps from data that I found interesting.

 

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Predicting Local Precipitation and Temperature from Oceanic Niño Index

It seems that this year is one of the colder and wetter years in my recent memory, at least in Colorado. Several ski areas have stayed open or have reopened every weekend past the original closing date because of additional snow fall. At least one ski area was still open this June, which is traditionally biking, hiking, and mountain climbing season. Trail Ridge Road in early June reportedly had 20 foot deep snowbanks in places, which is some of the highest I can remember. I recall back in the spring hearing about winter 2016 being one of the strongest El Niño years. So, I began to wonder, did we receive more precipitation this year because of the El Niño? Does Colorado normally receive more precipitation in El Niño years? And, because I love to see actual data and graphs “proving” the results, how can I visualize this?

I started by collecting precipitation data from NOAA for the entire state of Colorado. The data only went through the end of April, 2016 so I wasn’t able to evaluate the last 6 weeks of data. I compiled the data from 1950 to 2016, using only the data from January through the end of April. I then separated the data into El Niño years, La Niña years, and Normal years, based on the oceanic niño index information. I then created a bar chart in Grapher displaying the data. I was surprised to discover that it didn’t seem to affect precipitation over the entire state whether the ocean temperatures were cool (blue bars) or warm (red bars).

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A Graphical Look at the 2016 Kentucky Derby

The 142nd annual Run for the Roses, better known as the Kentucky Derby, took place this past weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. The race for 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses began in 1875 and takes place annually at Churchill Downs. Each year horses compete in 35 preliminary races for 1 of 20 coveted spots in the Derby.

Location of the Kentucky Derby, base map created in Surfer 13.

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