Map of Baseball’s Cactus and Grapefruit League Stadiums

All 30 major league baseball teams have now descended on one of two US states. In warm, dry weather, the teams will practice and prepare for a marathon 162 game season to start April 5. For Spring Training, teams in Florida are part of the Grapefruit League and Arizona teams comprise the Cactus League. The facilities are very different from the giant ballparks they play in during the regular season. The ambiance is much more minor league than the flashiness of giant stadiums. Perhaps that’s what makes them so appealing to baseball fans as vacation spots.

View Spring Training Stadiums in a full screen map

Practicing in warm locales is a baseball tradition that goes back to its early days, 125 years ago. Originally, the teams chose their own spots and likely didn’t play exhibition games due to the distance between facilities. Now they’re close enough that visitors can usually see two games at two different stadiums on the same day.

A glance at the map shows that the Cactus League of Arizona is much closer together, with 15 teams sharing 10 facilities. All Cactus League stadiums are located in the greater Phoenix metro area. The furthest distance you’ll drive for Arizona Spring Training is about an hour between HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa (to the southeast) and Surprise Stadium in Surprise (to the northwest).

If you want to visit, the Cactus League has a nice trip planner that allows you to select the teams you want to see. You’ll need to use the Grapefruit League’s full schedule and manually filter the teams on your own.

Travel can play a big role in how many teams you can see in Florida. At the longest, it takes three hours to drive between Space Coast Stadium near the beach east of Orlando to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers (to the southwest). Google even suggests a 50 minute flight as a viable travel option. In fact, that might be the easiest way to catch a Washington Nationals day game followed by a Red Sox or Twins night game.

One thing true in Florida that can’t be said of Arizona: you’ll always be a short drive to the water. All but three of the Grapefruit League teams are along the coasts. Even the inland teams are surrounded by lakes, with the Tigers playing in a city named Lakeland.

No matter which spring training region you choose to visit, you’ll find warm weather. Phoenix averages in the mid to high 70s fahrenheit during the month of March. Florida is typically a little higher. So break out your shorts and enjoy some baseball.

Where are US Alternative Fueling Stations?

With US gas prices lower than recent years, Americans may not be as motivated to consider alternative fuels. However, the country has more than 10,000 stations serving the seven most common types of fuels. This large dataset is made easier to visualize with BatchGeo’s clustering technology, with pie charts representing the percentage of each fuel in a given area.

View Alternative Fueling Stations in a full screen map

Fuel type Total stations in US
Electric (ELEC) 3314
Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) 2681
Ethanol (E85) 2536
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) 1070
Bio-diesel (BD) 655
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) 146
Hydrogen (HY) 56

Electric is the most popular type of station overall, comprising about one-third of all stations in the country. However, it is especially popular along the west coast, where it makes up more than half of all alternative stations.

The map shows some other regional patterns, such as ethanol’s popularity in the midwest, where much of the corn used to make it is grown. The name “E85” refers to the typical blend of 85% ethanol with 15% traditional gasoline. The actual ratio depends upon the local area and manufacturer.

In Texas and throughout the south, Propane is a popular fuel, while compressed natural gas is a common sight in Utah, where even the governor once converted his vehicle to use this fuel. Alaska, the biggest state in the union, has eight propane stations and a single compressed natural gas station, but none of the other fuels.

There are over 600 biodiesel stations in the US, without any one region jumping out as a major consumer. There are pockets of biodiesel stations in the southeast and northwest, as well as multiple stations devoted to ranger vehicles at Yellowstone National Park.

The two least common fuel types have many of their stations in drive-happy southern California. There are about 35 liquid natural gas and 21 hydrogen stations in the greater LA area.

How about the place known as Motor City? Detroit has 19 electric, 3 compressed natural gas and one each of all except biodiesel. To get that edible-based oil, you’ll need to travel a bit down the road to North Dixie BP in Monroe.

If you go on a Sunday, beware—they close at 9 p.m.

See the Last 10 Best Picture Oscars on a Map

Oscar season is center stage, with the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, February 22. The show takes place in Los Angeles, the epicenter of movie-making. Or is it? It used to be studio lots served as the backdrop for most movies. While studios are still used plenty, films are shot all over the world now. As proof, we collected the filming locations of the last 10 winners of the Oscar for Best Picture. When mapped, you can see that crews frequently go on location. Often they travel to where the film is actually set, but other times movie magic transforms a Southern California city into 1980s Iran.

View Oscar Filming Locations, 2005-2014 in a full screen map

The first thing you’re likely to notice are the predictable clusters: The King’s Speech in the UK, 12 Years a Slave in Louisiana, No Country for Old Men in the US Southwest and Slumdog Millionaire in India. In addition, much of the photography is international, with seven countries represented amongst the films. Perhaps most international, from a US perspective, is Hurt Locker. The bomb-disarming flick is the only winner from this group to film in multiple countries and not include the United States. It was filmed in Canada and Jordan.

Sticking to the international theme, this may be the most amazing fact on this map: between 2009 and 2011, the Best Picture winners were filmed entirely outside of the US. It’s hard to imagine another three year period where this is the case.

It should be noted that filming locations were gathered from IMDb’s user-generated lists, so they are unlikely to be exhaustive. That said, it’s also notable that only four of the ten pictures note filming locations in California. Though the state is large and diverse, quite predictably, the Los Angeles area makes up all California locations. The California location furthest from Los Angeles is the previously mentioned Ontario airport. 2013 winner Argo used the facility for the Tehran airport scenes.

Two films only list locations within California: Crash and The Artist. Both movies were also set in Los Angeles, so perhaps felt no need to look elsewhere. Million Dollar Baby only has one location outside of California and that was just a short trip away in Las Vegas.

Three-quarters of this year’s nominees have shunned California filming, at least according to the IMDb data available. Only American Sniper and Whiplash list locations in the Golden State.

View 2015 Oscar Nominations Filming Locations in a full screen map

This was a year for going to the location where the movie takes place. Boyhood is about growing up in Texas and was filmed around Austin, Houston and Big Bend National Park (also a filming location for 2008’s No Country for Old Men). The Imitation Game takes place and was filmed in locations across England. Selma, predictably, was used the United States South as a backdrop. And yes, that included filming in Selma itself. The Grand Budapest Hotel, however, shot throughout eastern Europe, but did not include Budapest itself.

BatchGeo Pro Speed Boost to 40x

We’ve worked with Google to boost geocoding speed for our Pro users to 40 times faster than our free version. That means geocoding at nearly 40 addresses per second! Maps taking minutes can now be done in seconds. If you are looking to speed up your mapping, give pro a try today.

NCAA Football Champions Mapped

Tonight Ohio State and University of Oregon face off to determine a national champion. This season marks the first year a playoff system was used to determine these two teams. However, there is a long college football tradition that goes back to the late 1800s. Various methods have been used to determine a champion through the years. Explore the map below to find who have won the most, the least and when each school had their first (and most recent) championship.

View NCAA Football Championships in a full screen map

The emptiness along the west coast between Berkeley and Seattle shows that one team in tonight’s game has never won. An Oregon victory would bring the first championship to the Ducks. For Ohio State, a win would be its eighth championship. The Buckeyes were last national champions in the 2002 season, beating then-reigning champions University of Miami at the Fiesta Bowl.

(Map updated to include Ohio State’s victory)

If Oregon wins, it will join a dozen other teams that have won only one championship. The last team added to that distinctive group was the University of Florida, in 1996. The Gators, however, have gone on to win two more championships. Of those who still just have one championship, the most recent is CU-Boulder, in 1990. The Buffaloes’ win was controversial due to a victory earlier in the season where officials accidentally gave the team five downs.

The most victorious team has its own controversy. Princeton’s 28 championships are more than any other school. The Tigers also lay claim to the very first championship for the 1869 season, when the team had a record of 1-1. Rutgers, the only other collegiate team in existence at the time, had the same record. Some historians have retroactively named them co-champions.

Yale is second overall with 27 wins. Princeton and Yale last won in 1950 and 1927, respectively. If we just look at championships since 1900, each of those Ivy League teams has just eight. By restricting the 1800s, Alabama (#3 overall) has far and away the most championships. The Crimson Tide, who lost to Ohio State in this year’s playoffs, have won 15 national championships.

Multi-Column Grouping and Filtering

Did you know you can filter by multiple column values simultaneously. If you have Group By column selected, filter the map by clicking on the values in the legend. The filter will grow the more values you select. You can also change the group by field on the fly by using the drop down on the left hand side of the legend.

Filter on multiple field values at the same time

BatchGeo Mobile 2.0

Announcing the latest release of our mobile app specific to iOS users, BatchGeo Mobile 2.0. This release is free to all existing BatchGeo Mobile App users, or $9.99 for new users. Note this release has been optimized for iOS7 and will not support older versions of iOS. To update simply open your App Store App and click update, or wait for update to be applied automatically (usually happens overnight.)

Customizing BatchGeo Map & Markers

You can now customize your marker colors and shapes! Just check under Set Options -> Advanced Options. Here you can select the colors used for your markers (7 possible for free version, 10 for Pro) and select from one of 3 different marker shapes.

Additionally you can select from 5 new map style types to more closely match the style of your website and give your map a little extra pop.

View Super Bowl Team Rankings By Appearances in a full screen map

BatchGeo Browser Support

In order to keep moving BatchGeo forward as browser technologies evolve, we occasionally will have to drop support for older browsers. We have recently dropped support for Internet Explorer 7, this is in alignment with Google’s official support policy:

Google Maps Supported Browsers

We understand not all organizations can keep up with the latest browser releases, so we will always strive to maintain backwards compatibility as long as possible. However we recommend for the best BatchGeo experience using the latest browser versions available.

Internet Explorer users: You should ensure your browser is not running in “Compatibility Mode” as this will cause problems even in newer browsers. To disable compatibility mode:

  1. Click on the “Tools” menu and select the “Compatibility View Settings” option. This will open a window where you can customize the compatibility view feature.
  2. Remove the check in the check box next to “Display all websites using Compatibility View” to turn off the feature.

Hide address data on your map

A new feature is available that will allow you to hide address information for those who wish to not reveal exact addresses. Underneath Validate & Set Options -> Advanced Options you will find an option “Hide map addresses / Limit zoom in”

This will work just as expected. Addresses will be used to place markers on map, but the addresses will not be revealed in the interface. Additionally the map will not zoom in to the point where exact locations could be determined.

We do not randomize address coordinates when sending data to the client, so technically exact location data is still available in the underlying code. For this reason we do not recommend using this to distribute highly sensitive data. However for the average person it will be very difficult to extract coordinates.

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