FIRST in Texas Heat Map 2024

Hello! I saw a lot of cool heat maps being made and wanted to join in with FiT. Quick reminder, FiT is Texas and New Mexico.

Statistics

Total FiT Teams 2024: 191
Total FiT Teams 2023: 174
Total FiT Teams 2022: 164

Rookie Teams 2024: 25
Second Year Teams 2024: 17
Third Year Teams 2024: 12

Num. of Counties with Teams: 46 / 287
Total Texas Counties: 254
Total New Mexico Counties: 33

Total FiT Events 2024: 10

Updated Heat Map

PDF of Heat Map

V4 - FiT_HeatMap_2024-04.pdf (8.3 MB)
V2 - FiT_HeatMap_2024-02.pdf (7.4 MB)

Note: TBA and FIRST inspires were not agreeing with each other. :frowning: So we tried our best.

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Awesome work! :heart:

Any reason why FIT hosts an event in Amarillo rather than in Lubbock, considering there aren’t any teams there?

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That is pretty interesting to see where some of the voids are in Texas.

I am shocked that Amarillo or the local surrounding area doesn’t have a team. There has been an event there since at least 2019.

Quite a few relatively large population/industry centers without any FRC teams.

Amarillo - 202,000
Midland/Odessa - 254,000
Bryan/College Station - 211,000
Tyler - 108,000
Abilene - 127,000
Wichita Falls - 102,000
San Angelo - 101,000
Beaumont - 114,000

Not exactly sure how the county and team locations work. I guess all of Katy’s teams claim Harris County because the STEAM center is? Fort Bend only shows 2 teams and at least 4 of Katy’s teams school locations are actually in Fort Bend county (624, 5427, 4639, 8576 for sure possibly some more).

edit - Added Beaumont

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We put those 4 teams at the STEAM center’s county because they work out of there.

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My understanding is it’s venue cost and availability. It’s the same reason there are events in Bell and McLennan counties (1 team each) and not any in Travis county (Austin).

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I am not 100% sure as to why Amarillo over Lubbock but I suspect it has been due to sponsorships with FiT. Currently on the FiT webpage one of the partners listed is Amarillo Convention and Visitors Bureau and a few years ago Amarillo College was listed as one of the sponsors.

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Hunt County should be red instead of grey

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Also, random interesting team, there is a rookie team started by the Mexican Consulate in Houston. They have 3 other teams in Mexico that follow the rookie team naming convention.

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This is kind of pedantic from myself (and this is not the first map to use the term heat map, not trying to mess with Texas)

This map is a cloropleth map (and should really use a univariate color scheme vs red/green for 1) accessibility reasons 2) green normally implies good and red bad, which really isn’t the case when you are trying to convey quantity)

Nonlinear colormap without citing why it is in that format (i.e. Jenks natural breaks) is also frowned upon.

The correct use of heat maps are not tied to geographic boundaries and can be thought of as more grid based (or rasterized ) although this isn’t technically a requirement. The delineations should be sufficiently small such that they aren’t the focus.

For those who like to be pointed to things:

Fwiw the omitted North arrow is correct, as the projection of the map (looks like lambert conformal conic) does not preserve direction (no one “north”).

Carry on - just trying to add some cartography knowledge back into the mix :slight_smile:

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Here is some data I pulled from tba in the same style as the California thread that I think gives some context for the map as it relates to the 10 events this year.

Events close to the most teams

Event # teams closest event # teams 2nd closest event # teams 3rd closest event
Katy 11 28 58
Waco 1 5 21
Belton 19 29 5
Plano 25 15 18
Fort Worth 8 17 41
San Antonio 44 21 4
Dallas 16 30 5
Houston 40 15 18
Friendswood 6 30 20
Amarillo 20 0 0

Travel distances per team (miles)

Closest Event distance 2nd Closest Event distance 3rd Closest Event distance
min 1 14.7 25.9
median 24.95 49.60 67.45
mean 16.55 67.93 91.19
max 482 758 781
disclaimer

I used the city listed on TBA for both teams and event which probably caused problems around the big metro areas as it spat back 1 ft if the two matched. Not the biggest problem except this is Texas and it takes an hour to drive from Houston to Houston :wink:

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it used to take me like 30 minutes to drive to the RSC when I lived 2 minutes away from the school, and sometimes there would be a train that blocked the road for another 20 minutes.

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Out of curiosity, what were the discrepancies?

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I helped with some of the data, so I can also answer this. Some teams would be shown in FIRSTInspires and not TBA. I believe we went with the TBA list, though in years past it’s been inaccurate in the other way (it showed FiT at 247 teams for 2023 when it only saw ~170 actually reach the carpet). FIRSTInspires has some issues too–for my state (Illinois) it lists teams that have very much so confirmed that they are not competing, such as 2451 PWNAGE, as active.

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Correction, you did the majority of the data. I greatly appreciate all the work you put in! I simply gave Texas knowledge (ex: 4 teams working in STEAM center, 8515 being 3847’s second team, etc.) + made a pretty map.

Thank you for doing data work. :))

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I don’t know if that’s for a fact why they do it but the president of the Bureau has attended the event the last two years and loves it so it wouldn’t surprise me if they cut FiT a decent deal for the venue. He said they’re trying to get a new convention center funded and really want to bring as many of these kinds of events as he can into the convention center. He also wanted feedback from me and other mentors during the event about what they need to do better for next year so I walked away thinking he genuinely wants to put on a good event and is probably a good partner for FiT.

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I can speak a little more specifically as to both how the Buddy Holly Convention Center stopped hosting FRC events and how Amarillo became a location for a district event.

When Lubbock stopped being an event location, Buddy Holly Convention Center was undergoing some remodeling and temporarily held off on allowing an FRC event to be hosted there, but around the same time Texas Tech started pulling funding from FRC combined with giving an absolute no to hosting any events on campus (realistically the only place it could be hosted on campus is the basketball arena, and college basketball season coincides with FRC season).

A side note: Texas Tech pulling funding from FRC (but keeping it for FTC, VEX, BEST, etc.) should have been a red flag to those of us on 1817 at the time, but it still came as a surprise when they stopped sponsoring the team and we were forced to retire.

As for Amarillo, a couple that used to mentor 5431 and assisted greatly in NTX off-season events (including NTXToR and STEMGals) before the move to districts retired and moved outside Amarillo. However, they decided they wanted to still be involved, so they secured the contract/sponsorship from the Amarillo Civic Center and have kept it going ever since.

Those are all the details I have about each. I know that’s pretty broad, but I hadn’t seen them come up in the thread yet so I decided to give my insights.

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Thank you @Imagery_Lead and your team for putting this together!

Slight detail though, I believe there’s a pretty prolific all-black team missing from Hunt County. Other than that I don’t notice any issues, but I’m only familiar with northeast, north, and west Texas so take that with a grain of salt.

EDIT: For some reason the direct reply didn’t go through, so I tagged Imagery_Lead instead.

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@Imagery_Lead It also appears that the 4063 image is missing. They would be in Val Verde County.

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Looks like that’s my mistake, our sheet has them filed under Galveston County. I probably made a mistake when copying some stuff around, the sheet still lists them in Del Rio.

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Oops, I think I missed Hunt County between all the other 1 team only counties. We will be working on fixes and make an update later today or tomorrow. :slight_smile:

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