Maps

Time-lapse Videos Show the Rise and Fall of Iconic American Retail Stores

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The rise of major streaming services such as Netflix and online retailers such as Amazon have had a devastating impact on once-booming American classic retail establishments such as Blockbuster Video and Toys“R”Us. This phenomenon is precisely what today’s time-lapse density maps aim to visualize.

These videos come to us from Reddit user /u/V1Analytics. The user created them using Excel, Python, and Blender 2.8. They shared them on the /r/DataisBeautiful Subreddit here and here where they raked in an impressive number of Upvotes at over 90k and 57k respectively.

Blockbuster Video US store locations between 1986 and 2019

Blockbuster Video opened its first retail location in October of 1985, but this time-lapse starts 10 months later in August of 1986. At the time, the company boasted only 5 stores. The company almost immediately saw what can only be described as a viral spread of locations. One year later, there were 68 stores spanning coast to coast and by 2003, the company was hitting its peak at about 5,600 stores nationwide. But after nearly 20 years of steady growth and industry domination, the tides began to turn. The company lost over 80% of its stores with about 1,000 remaining by 2012, and was at about 350 stores at the same time the following year. Today, there is still 1 store (albeit privately owned) in operation in Bend, Oregon.

[OC] Blockbuster Video US store locations between 1986 and 2019 from r/dataisbeautiful

From August to August, here’s a quick yearly rundown of how fast the company spread and how fast it all came crumbling down.

  • 1986 – 5 stores
  • 1987 – 68
  • 1988 – 290
  • 1989 – 794
  • 1990 – 1,234
  • 1991 – 1,578
  • 1992 – 1,899
  • 1993 – 2,251
  • 1994 – 2,587
  • 1995 – 2,942
  • 1996 – 3,285
  • 1997 – 3,645
  • 1998 – 3,934
  • 1999 – 4,468
  • 2000 – 4,978
  • 2001 – 5,240
  • 2002 – 5,433
  • 2003 – 5,569 (notice the decrease in growth from ’02 to ’03)
  • 2004 – 5,690 (still growing … but barely)
  • 2005 – 5,678 (holding steady?)
  • 2006 – 5,315 (over 300 stores lost in 1 year)
  • 2007 – 4,914
  • 2008 – 4,629 (consistently losing 300-400 stores per year; now falling as fast as it was once growing)
  • 2009 – 4,188
  • 2010 – 3,480 (not looking good)
  • 2011 – 2,097 (yikes)
  • 2012 – 1,097 (1,000 stores down in one year!)
  • 2013 – 361
  • 2014 – 44
  • 2015 – 24 (the final stores certainly put up a fight)
  • 2016 – 14 (still holding on)
  • 2017 – 9 (back down to 1986 numbers 30 years later)
  • 2018 – 2
  • 2019 – 1 (and that store is still open today!)

In the end, its reliance on brick and mortar and inability to adjust with the times (Netflix DVD delivery and eventual streaming services) lead to its swift and painful demise.

Toys“R”Us Stores Across the US from 1957 to 2020

And here’s a similar tale from another classic bygone store. For those of you who are too young to remember, Toys“R”Us was the Shangri-La for kids; literally a full size department store FILLED with toys. The nostaliga is real!

It was glorious but simply could not compete with the major online retailers such as Amazon. See for yourself below:

[OC] Toys “R” Us Stores across the US from 1957 to 2020 from r/dataisbeautiful

Surprisingly, as of 2019, Toys“R”Us is trying to make a comeback in the United States.

Now hopefully we can convince V1Analytics to do the same with KB Toys and even Gamestop/EB Games now that they’re on the way out.

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Maps

The Average Terrain Colors of Countries Around the World

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When you think about countries with an abundance of desert like Egypt, you generally think of yellow and orange sand colors. Likewise, countries with rainforests like Brazil most likely generate thoughts of deep greens. What color are the rest of the countries in the world?

Data visualization artist Erin Davis used satellite imagery from Sentinel-2 to illustrate the average color of the terrain in countries around the world.

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average-color-country-chartistry

The graphics use a choropleth map visualization to show the average color of the terrain in each country. Some countries, like snow-covered Greenland and Antarctica, are clearly colored how one would expect. Others take on a darker or more jewel-toned hue that reflects their unique landscapes.

The artist also illustrated the average color of each county in the United States for a more granular view of the country. The visualization highlights the forest-rich regions of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and South East as well as well as the rugged physical geography of southwestern states like Arizona and New Mexico.

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average-us-county-color-chartistry

There are five major classes of land biomes in the world: forests, deserts, savannah, tundra, and grasslands. The nature of these biomes heavily impact the color of the areas picked up by satellite. These are the divisions of each biome around the world:

    • Forests (40.1%): Forest biomes are populated by various species of deciduous and evergreen trees. This type of biome also includes rainforests, one of the most important forests in the world.
    • Deserts (25.9%): Deserts are categorized as areas with very little rainfall. Daytime temperatures are typically high and nighttime temperatures are low.
    • Savannah (16.7%): Savannah is tropical grasslands that are somewhere between lush tropical rainforests and desert regions. Their rainfalls typically occur during summer months, which means it evaporates quickly. These areas are prone to drought.
    • Tundra (10.5%): The climate of the tundra is extreme cold. Temperatures in the winter often go below freezing and plant life is either nonexistent or dormant for much of the year.
    • Grasslands (6.8%): Grasslands (also known as the Prairies in North America and the Pampas in South America) are temperate regions with warm summers and cool winters.

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Charts

The Countries With the Fastest Internet Speeds in the World

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Singapore is home to the fastest average internet speed in the world, where the average download speed is an incredible 238.59 megabits per second. There are many theories as to why this is, with what being that Singapore was founded with a compact and easily upgradable infrastructure. Not only that, but in Singapore, the economic freedom has led to a society that’s more high-speed and connected.

From Hewlett Packard, this visualization takes a look at where in the world you can find the fastest internet speeds, both in terms of average broadband and mobile speeds.

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fastest-internet-speeds-world-chartistry

The fastest fixed broadband internet in the world can be found in Singapore, where the average speed is 238.59 megabits per second. According to the data, these are the 20 countries with the fastest fixed broadband internet.

  1. Singapore: 238.59 megabits per second
  2. Hong Kong: 231.70 megabits per second
  3. Thailand: 217.70 megabits per second
  4. Romania: 205.89 megabits per second
  5. Denmark: 197.27 megabits per second
  6. Spain: 189.50 megabits per second
  7. Hungary: 187.52 megabits per second
  8. Liechtenstein: 186.46 megabits per second
  9. Monaco: 185.48 megabits per second
  10. France: 184.77 megabits per second
  11. Switzerland: 183.88 megabits per second
  12. United States: 180.84 megabits per second
  13. South Korea: 176.95 megabits per second
  14. Andorra: 172.41 megabits per second
  15. Chile: 171.88 megabits per second
  16. Macau: 167.56 megabits per second
  17. Sweden: 165.52 megabits per second
  18. China: 163.83 megabits per second
  19. Canada: 158.69 megabits per second
  20. Norway: 153.36 megabits per second

In terms of the fastest cellular internet speeds, it’s the United Arab Emirates that takes the top spot, with an average speed of 178.52 megabits per second. These are the 15 countries from around the world that have the fastest cellular internet speeds on average.

  1. United Arab Emirates: 178.52 megabits per second
  2. South Korea: 170.52 megabits per second
  3. Qatar: 167.40 megabits per second
  4. China: 150.40 megabits per second
  5. Saudi Arabia: 133.73 megabits per second
  6. Norway: 118.20 megabits per second
  7. Australia: 109.33 megabits per second
  8. Netherlands: 103.37 megabits per second
  9. Bulgaria: 96.27 megabits per second
  10. Switzerland: 95.27 megabits per second
  11. Canada: 93.87 megabits per second
  12. Kuwait: 92.94 megabits per second
  13. Luxembourg: 91.74 megabits per second
  14. Cyprus: 87.55 megabits per second
  15. Sweden: 83.44 megabits per second

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Maps

Which National Park is the Closest to Where You Live?

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If you’ve ever wondered which of the sixty-three National Parks that are scattered throughout the United States is closest to you, then wonder no more! We came across this map that breaks the country down into 63 regions, to show which National Park is the closest for every area in the United States. While we originally found this map visual shared in the r/dataisbeautiful subreddit, it was originally created by esri using the Thiessen (Voronoi) polygon tool.

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Which National Park is the Closest to Where You Live?

If you’re also picking up vintage vibes from this map, that’s because it was designed to be reminiscent of vintage National Park posters. An excellent design choice in our opinion! How did they determine which National Park was the closest to every area in the U.S.? The distance in each boundary is displayed “as the crow flies” so any spot within each National Park’s boundary is closer to that park than to any other. Although these boundaries do not take into account the shortest drive time or the most convenient National Park to each location. Looking at the map you can see that there are a lot more National Park options on the western part of the country than on the eastern. This is due to the west having a lot more open land available when the National Park Service began in 1916, while the eastern side of the country had a lot more of its land already developed at that time. Which of the sixty-three National Parks is the closest to you!?

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