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.

Verifying Reported Statistics with Grapher

I recently read about the decreasing gender wage gap for newly graduated college students in an article on the Liberty Street Economics, the blog of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In the article, there is a statement that “among recent college graduates, men earn about 3 percent more than women overall” but that the gap “widens significantly as workers approach mid-career”. The article summarizes this mid-career group of individuals, where they find that “men earn about 15 percent more than women.” Being the inquisitive person that I am, I wondered how these statements could be made – what evidence was there supporting these statements? I could have taken the table on their blog and calculated a quick mathematical average using a spreadsheet program. But, the table only included a sub-section of the full data being used and the data was already in statistical summaries instead of original polling numbers. I decided to find some raw data and create some graphs that would allow me to perform some analysis myself.

Much data is available for download and analysis from the US Census Bureau. This data can be downloaded and edited. It can then be used for graphing or mapping in many Golden Software programs. The data can also be used for analysis, such as creating statistics, comparing values, or providing supporting evidence for other statistics. In this case, I thought some simple bar charts for various populations would help support or overthrow the claims of the decreasing gender wage gap in young workers.

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Exploring the New Frontiers in Science

Science is cool and awesome and always evolving. We at Golden Software all like to stay apprised in various ways of what is happening in this broad scientific community. Most scientists are explorers at heart and Golden Software employees definitely fall among this "explorer" group. In the last few weeks, I’ve been amazed by great maps, new finds, and beautiful photography. Here’s a sampling of what’s keeping my interest right now.

NASA maps our solar system with various rovers and spacecraft. Recently, the Dawn spacecraft flew by Ceres, the dwarf planet and largest object in the asteroid belt. One of the unusual observations displayed in the images that NASA received back from Dawn was a mysterious bright spot near the center of Ceres inside a crater. NASA recently released some maps it created of Ceres topography with shaded relief maps. Check out the videos on NASA’s website for the full animation.

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This day in history: Vanuatu joins the U.N.

This day in history: Vanuatu joins the U.N.

This day in history, in 1981, the island nation of Vanuatu joined the United Nations. In honor of this, I've created the above graphic, using both our MapViewer 8 thematic mapping software and our Grapher 11 graphing software to show when each country joined the United Nations, and how the organization grew over time. Congratulations Vanuatu!

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Creating Contour and 3D Maps With Surfer from Downloaded Images

One of the new features in the Surfer mapping software that hasn’t gotten a lot of mention is the ability to download imagery as grids. Most of you may know that Surfer can connect directly to WMS servers and download georeferenced images directly into your maps as base layers. You can download aerial photographs, orthoimagery, shaded topographic images, scanned USGS maps, images showing geological bedrock, etc.  However, did you know you can also download imagery as grid files and use them to create contours or other grid-based maps?

You can download images as grids from WMS servers using either the Grid | Grid from Server command, or by clicking the Download button in the Open Grid dialog when creating a grid-based map. The difference is that the Grid | Grid from Server command downloads the image as a grid file directly to your hard drive so you can use it later on (e.g. for blanking) or in multiple maps.

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Mapping Fantasy Football Points

Mapping Fantasy Football Points

September has arrived, and fall is nearly here.  For many people fall means football!  With fantasy football drafts upon us, I thought it would be fun to create a map displaying the highest scoring players and NFL teams across the US.  I began by pulling some fantasy football stats from one of the many fantasy league websites to create a spreadsheet with the stats I was interested in.  The fantasydata website has fantasy points assigned to NFL teams based on 2015 pre-season performance as well as historic full season fantasy points for each player.  I was curious to see if the best fantasy point scorers coincided with NFL team fantasy points.

Since the 2014 stats are for individual players and the 2015 pre-season stats are for teams, I decided to show the player data using a symbol map and the NFL team data using a hatch map. Symbol maps apply a color and size gradient to each symbol based on a specified data column. I also applied a color gradient to the hatch map and added labels to the player symbols for a bit more information. 

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