Halloween GIS Fun

Caitlin Dempsey


Looking to add a little geo to your Halloween beyond the proliferation of Halloween Trick or Treater online maps?

Halloween Cartography

Gretchen Petersen has pulled together Halloween themed graphics for mapping on her blog.  The selection of three font collections includes a scary type font called Mostly Typeface by Chad Savage as well as Halloween symbol sets.  These fonts can be brought into ArcGIS Pro or another GIS application to bring some Halloween fun to your maps.

Use GIS to Maximize Halloween Trick-or-Treating

Paul L. Knight and Kevin Clark analyzed the best urban neighborhood designs for trick-or-treating using GIS analysis.   The biggest candy haul is a function of route efficiency, candy distributors per block (typically dwelling units), and “candy density” (candy pieces per acre).  

Knight and Clark noted that traditional neighborhood design which offers more walkable mixed used areas results in a bigger haul of candy over suburban design which is mostly cul-de-sac in nature.  The article looked at the potential candy score of two neighborhoods: the Conley Creek Subdivision (suburban) versus Glenwood Park (mixed used urban).  

The analysis found that Glenwood Park had the potential to yield three times more candy yet take half as much time to obtain the candy as the Conley Creek Subdivision.  Check out the Maximize Your Halloween with New Urbanism.  

Glenwood Park (top) has the potential to yield three times more candy with a candy density of almost 5 times that of Conley Creek Subdivision (bottom).
Glenwood Park (top) has the potential to yield three times more candy with a candy density of almost 5 times that of Conley Creek Subdivision (bottom).

Mapify Your Pumpkins

Google Maps has created pumpkin cutouts that you can use to Mapify your pumpkins for Hallowe’en.  Print out the pages on this Google Maps Pumpkin PDF, attach the guides to your pumpkin, and use the cutouts to create Google Map themed pumpkins. (Related: Geography of Pumpkins)

Options include the Google Maps marker and the Google Earth logo.

Halloween Story maps from Esri

Esri has produced a few spooky map stories to coincide with Halloween:

Map of Halloween Costumes

Esri has mapped out Halloween costume spending across the United States from 2010.  The full sized map is here (PDF).

Map of Halloween Costume Spending Across the United States.  Source: Esri.
Map of Halloween Costume Spending Across the United States. Source: Esri.

The Great Pumpkin

Linus wasn’t waiting in vain after all! In this release from Space Imaging, a satellite image was taken on September 8th, 2002 of a picture of a pumpkin that had been carved into a field. The image is of a 5 acre corn field located in Kentucky. Making up a maze, the design reveals a Jack o’lantern when viewed from above.

Click on image for larger size. IKONOS image from Space Imaging, 2002.

Visitors can climb up onto the viewing platform located in the nose of the pumpkin. As explained by Space Imaging, the images were captured as part of the Kentucky Landscape Snapshot (KLS) Project which will be used to study changes in Kentucky’s landscape. Satellite imagery will be captured of Kentucky’s urban, rural and forest land at intervals to study how the landscape is changing over time. 

Have a scary Hallowe’en!


More holiday and GIS content

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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3 thoughts on “Halloween GIS Fun”

  1. Thanks for linking to my Halloween graphics post!

    Does the Esri map on Dressing Up in the U.S. make anyone else feel like they’ve spent just a tad more than they should on their kid’s costumes?! I spent about $25 on each costume and felt like that was cheap – but according to this map that is way more than most spend. Next year’s goal – spend less than $8.

  2. Actually the Halloween map made me realize how uninformative the map actually is. Look at a Median household income map and essentially you’re looking at the same exact map. You could call it any topic you want. Household Spending on Blenders. Household Spending on Christmas Presents. But yes, I spent more than $6 and I went to a thrift store.

    Gretchen, great talk at CalGIS in May. I actually just ordered your book to pass around to my students and it should be here tomorrow.

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