Now that's market penetration!
It occured to blogger Stephen Von Worley during a road trip in the Lower 48 that there should be some way to measure "the creep of cookie-cutter commercialism" - the dreary sameness of convenience stores, fast-food outlets, muffler shops, discount lodgings and the like from the Everglades to Yosemite, from the Grand Canyon to Brooklyn Bridge.
Von Worley hit upon McDonald's as the "inaugural megacorporate colonizer of small towns nationwide." Using store counts from from AggData, which for a fee will give you the location of every Gap or Dennys in the nation, the intrepid Von Worley put his software smarts to work plotting the locations of all 13,000 or so U.S. Golden Arches outlets, in the resulting map below.
Obviously, this in fact is a map of where America's 300 million people live, and secondarily a guide to McPhobiacs on how best to avoid Mickey Dee's and its spawn. Which as you can see is a vertical swath between the Mississippi and the West Coast. The "McFarthest Spot," Von Worley calculates, is 145-mile stretch by car between the Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley.
"Suffer a Big Mac Attack out there," Von Worley observes, "and you’re hurtin’ for certain!"
HT: Felix Salmon.