Past Meetup

How to Put your Meetup on the Map (Literally)

This Meetup is past

135 people went

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This meetup, we go back to our roots!!! We will discuss an application of R programming, involving visualization, maps, optimization and reporting, using data from

We are excited to welcome our member, and Data Community DC Co-Founder and President Dr. Harlan Harris to talk about a project he has been working on with Alan Briggs.

Meetup organizers have to face a problem that's common to many other organizations. Where should I put my event, or factory, or chain of convenience stores, or cell phone tower? You could pay consultants many thousands of dollars to give you recommendations, or you can figure it out over a weekend using R! In this presentation, we use home and work ZIP codes that Data Community DC collected from Meetup attendees to solve two location analysis problems: What is the best single location for one of our Meetup events? What are the best 3 locations that are convenient for everyone at least sometimes? Techniques that will be discussed include: working with latitude/longitude data, constructing geometric cost functions, mapping, continuous optimization, global optimization, and dynamic report generation. R packages used include: knitr, plyr, reshape2, ggplot2, ggmap, and DEoptim.

Harlan Harris has a PhD in Computer Science (Machine Learning) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and postdoctoral research experience in experimental psychology and cognitive science. He currently works as a solutions architect for Sentrana, Inc., in Washington, DC. Harlan is the co-founder and co-organizer of the Data Science DC ( Meetup, is the co-founder and President of Data Community DC (, and recently wrote a short e-book about data scientists called "Analyzing the Analyzers (". Follow him on Twitter at @HarlanH.

Alan Briggs is a Data Scientist with Elder Research, Inc. assisting with the development of predictive analytic capabilities for national security clients in the Washington DC Metro area. Prior to joining Elder Research, Alan worked in cloud analytics at a large government consulting firm and as an engineering and delivery route planner at UPS. He holds a Master’s Degree in Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering focusing in Logistics Engineering from North Carolina State University and a BS in Business Management from Emory & Henry College. He is actively involved in the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) where he serves as vice-president and president-elect of the Maryland chapter. With primary academic and professional interests in optimization, modeling and simulation, Alan seeks to apply advanced logistics engineering concepts to unconventional problem sets.