ArcGIS Business Analyst

How to stop leaving Michigan's Upper Peninsula off of maps

Greetings from The Institute – today I would like to discuss an odd phenomenon:

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.) is constantly getting left off of maps.

I’m not really sure why, it’s a lovely place and I’m actually married to a Yooper …and so is our product manager Helen Brown!

But this topic appears to have a rabid avidity of online followers.

Case in point there are Reddit Communities tackling this, Facebook Groups, Super Bowl Jeep Ads, Pinterest pins, Michael Che with SNL Weekend Update mishaps, and even the White House was involved.

As a geography company, we can help.  In the December 2020 release of ArcGIS Business Analyst Pro 2.7 we added a new feature to Territory Design that accommodates non-adjacent polygons when building territories.  This solves the U.P. problem and also for any location in the world.

Check out this video to learn more about the exciting inner workings of buffer tolerances and feature adjacency parameters!


Here is the video’s highlight reel…

0:10 Hellooo, everyone

0:15 Talking serious geography issues:  Missing Upper Peninsulas on maps

0:30 Walking thru internet map mishaps

0:55 Reddit really hitting the issue

1:24 Michigan’s UP is part of Texas?

1:50 As a geography company – do we leave the Upper Peninsula off?

2:18 Ouch – yes

2:30 It’s OK – we’ve implemented ways to fix this

3:20 Measuring the Mackinaw Bridge & looking at Pairwise Buffers

3:55 Applying a 10 mile Buffer Tolerance to territories

4:15 You betcha!  That fixes it

4:30 Missing Beaver Island and Isle Royale National Park?

5:10 Just add a larger Buffer Tolerance

5:30 Not just a Yooper problem – let’s head to the UK*

5:45 Building a UK Districts-based territory solution on the fly…

6:44 Does it include the British Isles and Northern Ireland?

6:45 Dodgy!

6:55 Just amp up that Buffer Tolerance

7:05 To MILES???  Whoops – use any supported distance unit

7:10 Reapply and all is well


*We worked through this scenario last year with Robin and his wonderful colleagues at Esri UK.  It helped make the product better!  Cheers and happy territory building.

About the author

Kyle is a Principal Product Engineer with Esri - focusing on geospatial technologies and applied demographics. He is part of a global team responsible for building next generation ArcGIS Business Analyst applications.

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