.: Above The Aether :.

12 Jul, 2008

Is it a virus? No, it’s Walmart.

Posted by: Dave In: Business |Design |History

Walmart Virus

Data visualizations fascinate me like fish tanks enthrall cats.  This is an interesting map of Walmart’s growth across the United States.  I think the designer choose to make the stores green dots on purpose…

What do you think?

Link to the dynamic map (requires Flash).

– Dave

2 Responses to "Is it a virus? No, it’s Walmart."

1 | epiphenita

July 12th, 2008 at 4:23 pm


outstanding information design. so elegant. green spots for new stores, a simple total counter in the upper left corner and year counter on the lower right.

interesting, too. the poster child state for all that is glitzy and cheap has resisted the walmarting of america: nevada is the least defiled on this map. i’m sure there’s a logical explanation for this…dave?

2 | Dave

July 12th, 2008 at 6:33 pm


I’m guessing is has something to do with population density and overall demographics.

It takes a lot of shoppers to support a single Walmart. All those western states have very low population density (Nevada has 18 people per square mile and Wyoming has even fewer at 5 per square mile). So it makes sense that you wouldn’t see many Walmarts between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

I bet if you look at the same visualization of Burger King or McDonalds you’d see a similar pattern.

That’s my best guess.


  • Dave: Not sure, Bryan, but I'd love to know where Craig lives.
  • Bryan Hanks: What city were those in?
  • Kevin David Anderson: check out our other wreaths at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150452725264516.391111.360128594515&type=3
  • epiphenita: Like Tom Waits without the music.
  • epiphenita: Reminds me of my good friend's artwork: http://victoriacarlson.blogspot.com/2009/06/untitled.html
  • Dave: I think someone should make some dance music from those "WHOAHs."
  • epiphenita: Oh, Dave. That was tonic to my soul. Perfect. I vote for an exorcism.
  • Dave: Hmm, looks sober to me.
  • Scott: I'm thinking that the guy with the hat might have had a drink or two before this picture was taken. Just a hunch...
  • Scott: There's a roleplaying scenario just waiting to be written based on these pictures. :-)


Stepping over the steaming pile of reality. This is one man's journey into the absurd.

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