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NAME ______________________

Location Analysis for Chick-Fil-A Using Thiessen Polygons


Perhaps while you have been out shopping or running errands you have made it over to the OSU Student Union to visit the food court. One of the restaurants in the complex is Chick-Fil-A, which has entertained us for years with theiradvertising cows, telling us we need to “Eat Mor Chikin.” Founded in Hapeville, Georgia near Atlanta back in 1964, Chick-Fil-A has grown to a franchise having more than 1,200 locations in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Most of these original locations were and are still in shopping malls, but most of the new restaurants in the chain appear as single-unit fast-food stands as well as inuniversity food courts and airport terminals. Chick-Fil-A is known for “inventing” the chicken sandwich as well as their signature waffle fries that complement any meal. This growing chain is now the proud sponsor of the annual Chick-Fil-A Bowl, a college football game played each December in Atlanta.

Imagine that you are a GIS Analyst for Chick-Fil-A. Corporate moo-nagement has assigned youwith the task of identifying a new location for a restaurant, as the chain continues to expand with enormous popularity. You are told that the new location is to be placed specifically in Oklahoma, one of the most successful markets and target areas for the chain.

In order to determine the most appropriate location for the new restaurant, you think for a moment on how best to approach this problemof location analysis. You decide to use Thiessen polygons to help you determine current service areas of the existing franchises to help you identify neighborhoods where there is clientele stress, meaning that an existing restaurant cannot accommodate the population in its territory. Chick-Fil-A restaurants are most likely to be successful when they have a supporting population of at least50,000 to sustain the site but fewer than 250,000 people so that the customers are not tempted to go elsewhere with shorter lines where there is a chance they could order beef. Let’s go grab a bite . . .

STEP 1 –Open the ArcMap Project

To open ArcMap, click START > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcMap.

Choose to open “An existing map,” highlight “Browse for maps…” and click OK.

The .MXD file namedChick-Fil-A is in your folder C:\ESRI\Projects\chickenrun\
and is the map document you will want to open for this exercise.

Your map view contains the following layers:
• Chick-Fil-A Locations Restaurant Locations in Oklahoma as of June 2006
• Block Group Demographics Population information from the U.S. Census, 2000
• OKC Metropolitan Area Made up of 8 counties in and aroundOklahoma’s capital city
• OKC Roads Roadways in the 8-county Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area
• Oklahoma’s State Outline
• Oklahoma’s County Boundaries
• Oklahoma’s City Boundaries

To explore the datasets, right-click on the layer names in the Table of Contents and select Open Attribute Table.

How many Chick-Fil-A restaurants are there currently in the state ofOklahoma? ___________________


STEP 2 – Set Up Spatial Analyst Extension

In order to perform our analysis, we will be utilizing the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension. Extensions make the base software more powerful, but because of their nature, we need to make sure that the extensions are fully activated so that we can use them.

You should see the Spatial Analyst toolbar (shown above) somewherein your window. If you do not see it, go to the VIEW menu, choose Toolbars, and select Spatial Analyst. This menu command will toggle the toolbar on and off.

Click on the Spatial Analyst dropdown menu on the Spatial Analyst toolbar. If most of the commands are grayed out, then the extension needs to be activated. Go to the TOOLS menu and select Extensions. Place a checkmark in the box to...
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