Last night Andy Warren ( blog | twitter ) shot me an email and asked if I could come up with a map of all the cities in the US that haven’t held a SQL Saturday yet. Sadly, I love this kind of stuff so much that I knew right off the top of my head that in the US “cities” are broken down into “Metropolitan Statistical Areas” and there are 366 of them (I’m glossing over the 29 sub-areas of some of the big cities). I said Sadly because not only did I know that 366 number but I also cary a list of the 14 largest cities not to hold a SQL Saturday yet in my wallet.
In any event I figured I might as well generate a map of a more complete list of cities so I grabbed my handy-dandy copy of the 2009 Census estimates and I was off. I selected only the 100 largest cities and then removed any of the cities that had held or are planning a SQL Saturday. I was left with 62 cities most of which are at least an hour away from a city that has held a SQL Saturday. (The cities I didn’t remove aren’t among the 29 sub-areas of larger cities.**)
I fired up MapPoint 2010 to Link my data and discovered two things that I was really happy about. The first is that MapPoint recognizes Metropolitan Areas. This meant no parsing was required on my part. Secondly, since I had copied out the population figures with all of the cities, I was able to make the legend for my cities different based on the size of the population. While I was playing around with that I found out I can further scale that legend again based on how densely populated the area is.
This whole process literally took a handful of minutes.
Here is what the results tell us:
- The largest section of under-served SQL Saturday areas is in a nice strip from St. Louis, MO to Providence, RI (Bragging rights go to Kansas City)
- California is the most underserved state.
- Texas really is bigger. Just look at the number of underserved folks who aren’t near Dallas or Houston
- Despite 5 regular/annual SQL Saturdays in the state of Florida there are still 3 cities of note that are not within an hour of a SQL Saturday and are missing out.
Here’s a list if the top 25:
||Metropolitan Statistical Area
||Latest Population Estimate
||San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
||St. Louis, MO-IL
||San Antonio, TX
||Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
||Austin-Round Rock, TX
||Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
||Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
||Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
||Oklahoma City, OK
||Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
||New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
||Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
**You would think that since I started with 100 cities and ended up with 62 that means there are 38 cities that have held a SQL Saturday in the US but you’d be wrong. 2 cities that aren’t even in the top 100 largest cities in the US have held SQL Saturdays! So why isn’t your city in there?
It seemed like now would be a good time to update the SQL Saturday Map so here it is. The center-left of the map is starting to fill in nicely. I hear that California is the most people of any state in the union and yet they only have 1 SQL Saturday… What’s up with that?
If you know of any SQL Saturdays that haven’t made this list please let me know. Even if they are still in the discussions/planning stage I’d still like to get it on the list.
Green: held a SQL Saturday prior to 2010
Yellow: holding their first SQL Saturday in 2010 or eraly 2011
Turquoise: I’ve heard rumors over twitter…
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Have you ever been about to take a trip somewhere new and thought ‘hey, I wonder if I’m close enough to a PASS Chapter to catch their meeting’ or for speakers, ‘if I can speak at their meeting’? Well guess what, I’ve had the same question. So I went to the PASS website and tried to figure out if Abilene was close to Houston. Unfortunately there was no easy way for me to figure that out because the chapters were all listed on separate pages and there is no map.
So I did what I’m sure everyone does, I sent an email to Blythe Morrow ( twitter ) saying hey Blythe, “we need a map off all the PASS chapters around the world”. Blythe said “That’s a great idea Aaron!! When can you have it done?”
Doh! I didn’t realize that I was volunteering myself for this but I figure hey this is our PASS so I smiled and said “I don’t know, send me the data and we’ll see”. I built out a map, and we ran into some issues with chapters not having quite the right address the software could recognize. Fun stuff like that.
Along the way I realized Rob Farley ( blog | twitter ) not only knows how to do this stuff, but can even do it with Silverlight. I roped him into my little guerilla-community-service project, but we quickly noticed a problem: quite a few of the chapters have addresses that are not where the group actually meets but instead where the chapter leader lives or works. That being said, we quickly realized that we now need all 211 chapters to give us their meeting addresses, not their mailing address.
Right now all we can show you is a static map of the chapters in the US. If we can get all of the addresses from all of the chapter leaders verified, we can give you a zoom-able map of all the chapters in the world sometime soon (*that soon part is completely up to the chapter leaders).
What needs to be done? We have sent out an email to all chapter leaders asking for at the very least their meeting address and which day of the month the chapter meets. If they also want to include a twitter handle for the group and/or chapter leaders, a picture of the chapter leader(s), chapter logo, or anything along those lines we can add those as well. Please send this information as a reply to the email that has been sent out to all of the Chapter Leaders.
[Click on the map for the full size version]
Hey folks, I did a quick update to the SQL Saturday Map. I went ahead and color coded the cities that have already done a SQL Saturday in a previous year as Green, cities that are holding their first SQL Saturday this year as Yellow, and cities that are in discussion to hold a SQL Saturday but aren’t official yet as Turquoise.
Has anyone else noticed that despite being home to a SQL conference, Las Vegas hasn’t held one yet? Or as Brad Shultz pointed out, San Francisco nor Silicon Valley have held one. I wonder if there’s a Chapter in Key West? I know there’s one in the Cayman’s; I’d love to speak there.
I also built another map using the same colors to show where you can still catch a SQL Saturday this year. Did you know that you can learn some PowerShell at almost every one of these events? I will update this one later and try to include the info off the location page and things like that.
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Just a quick post here.
Yesterday there was a discussion around the notion of SQL Saturdays hitting a saturation point. Statements like that remind me of the guy who was the head of the patent office and said that there was nothing left to patent. I say that because I think that if we are in fact being successful with these events, as we expand the capabilities of DBAs DBDs and BIDs around the country, we will also expand what they want to learn next. Not to mention the value proposition that these people bring to the table at their jobs. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and we’ll look back at this post 4 years from now and say “wow Aaron, that was a dumb prediction wasn’t it”.
In any event Andy Warren ( blog | twitter ) thought before we got too far into this discussion we should have a look at a map so that we’re all working from the same frame of reference. I’m currently working on some mapping stuff that you’ll find out more about later this week so I volunteered to whip up this map. It’s basic and shows all SQL Saturdays past and currently scheduled on the home page. If you click on the map it will take you to a larger version of it.
There looks to be a lot of open space there in the middle, plus I hear they do SQL in Canada (or at least organize events around it).
I think a city the size of Atlanta could easily handle 2 SQL Saturdays per year depending on size; and the greater L.A. area could probably handle 4 per year so long as they move it around. What do you guys and gals think?
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