Fast Company

Infographic of the Day: McDonald's Heat Wave

Just how far away can one get from the generic convenience of Starbucks, Subway, or OfficeMax at any given time? Turns out, not very. Stephen von Worley at Weather Sealed set out to chart the urban sprawl of America by mapping the 13,000+ locations of McDonald's across the lower 48 states. With the aid of Agg Data, he created a striking map of the US, colored by distance to the nearest domestic Mickey D's. Gorgeous, but terrifying.

mcdonalds_infographic

The fast food chain is wall-to-wall across the eastern US and southern regions. Unsurprisingly, the ratio thins as we move west into Big Sky Country. As McWorley reports:

"For maximum McSparseness, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map. There, in a patch of rolling grassland, loosely hemmed in by Bismarck, Dickinson, Pierre, and the greater Rapid City-Spearfish-Sturgis metropolitan area, we find our answer. Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald’s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!"

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10 Comments

  • J. Gary Sutton

    Is it any wonder why the obesity rate in the United States is so amazingly high? Fat and salt from coast to coast courtesy of McDonalds and others. And just because they provide a half million jobs with " opportunity and benefits " does not make it ok. That always seems to be a justification for anything in our capatalistic society/economy. Criminal activity of all types must then be good because it provides jobs in the law enforcement industry for so many others from lawyers, to policeman, the prison system,FBI, CIA , etc. etc. The abuse and addiction of the legal drugs of alcohol and nicotine by millions of citizens must be good because it brings in so much tax revenue to the state and federal government.

  • Ryan Servatius

    You have to love how McDonalds is run. Only missed one pay out in dividins in all of the years it has been a public company. McDonalds should be in the two books From Good To Great & Built To Last as a Visionary Company....

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  • David McInnis

    It would be interesting to see a similar map for Dairy Queen. My guess is that it would be the exact inverse of this map.

  • Barry Dennis

    I bet the map would look exactly the same for similar large distrbution enterprises like Subway. How about Social Datasets; poor people, minorities, Chevrolets. Be interesting to see if it held up for Sex Offenders, convicted politicians, ex-beauty queens, family farms, rat populations, you pick 'em.

  • Barry Dennis

    I bet the map would look exactly the same for similar large distrbution enterprises like Subway. How about Social Datasets; poor people, minorities, Chevrolets. Be interesting to see if it held up for Sex Offenders, convicted politicians, ex-beauty queens, family farms, rat populations, you pick 'em.

  • Mark Petticord

    Kind of reminds me of an article I wrote about our convenience culture. Remember Burger Kings Jingle? hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us... http://bit.ly/zXPmq

  • Andy Kaufman

    It's a great dose of perspective, for sure. It doesn't strike me as terrifying, though I understand if someone likes open spaces, they definitely want to move West!

    Here's another way to look at the map: each of those lights represent an employer who is providing opportunity and benefits. Last I heard the McEmployee count was over half a million in the US and nearly 2 million globally. Newsweek had them on the map for one of the top 25 greenest big companies, which is a move in the right direction: http://greenrankings.newsweek....

    My point: success isn't necessarily terrifying, though it does demand responsibility....

  • Barry Dennis

    I bet the map would look exactly the same for similar large distrbution enterprises like Subway. How about Social Datasets; poor people, minorities, Chevrolets. Be interesting to see if it held up for Sex Offenders, convicted politicians, ex-beauty queens, family farms, rat populations, you pick 'em.