America In Chains

Inspired by Logorama – the incredible Oscar-winning animated short – we decided to go big, plunged into AggData’s geolocated business database, identified 330 retail chain corporations, extracted the latitudes and longitudes of each of their U.S. stores, and mapped them, one per dot:

America In Chains

That’s 500,000 individual retail establishments in all: thirty to each public library, fifteen per post office, and one for every 6.2 square miles and 600 souls in the Lower 48!

To me, the map represents the pointillist results of a free-market census, wherein the dots, painstakingly-spread for decades across the commercial landscape, now map discrete units of demand to corresponding amounts of population.  Indeed, swap black and white, and we see the country, a few hours after sundown, cities and towns alight, as it might appear from space:

Synthetic Night View From Space

Lo and behold, it’s a spittin’ image of the Real Thing!

Thanks to AggData for providing the store location information that made this article possible.