The Geography of FIRST

With districting becoming more widespread and teams from overseas coming and going, it’s always nice to have a visual of exactly where each team is.

What is it?
This map was created using TBA’s information in ArcGIS. It shows all the teams that existed in FRC, discontinued or not. If they had no location, name, or number (see below), I just removed it from the sheet.

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This image shows two teams with a number and a location, but no name. I don’t know why it’s there, probably due to bad data recording pre-TBA. Both of these were removed.

What do you do with it?
Using this map, you can get a reference for what teams are where; but more importantly you can add more sets of data, called layers, to the map that allow you to see the correlation between them (see below).

This map shows population density along with the FRC teams on the east coast, which shows that teams tend to be in places of higher population density.

How can I make maps too?
If you’d like to see the map, the link is provided at the bottom of the post, along with the excel files of all the layers. Once you have the map, you can either add your own layers, or you can look up pre-existing ones (see below).

Why can’t I find something?
If you cannot find a team you are looking for, that may be because ArcGIS will represent multiple dots in the same place with one (see above). Otherwise, use TBA locations of teams in the search bar, as all the locations on TBA and on the map are the same. If that still isn’t the case, you may need to look in the excel files to find your team. If it isn’t there, I might have screwed up. Speaking of…

Reporting Errors
If I made a mistake and accidentally cut your team from the set somehow, let me know and I can update the sheets and the map. If you’d like to search for mistakes, look for countries in the wrong lists (i.e. a Canadian team in the USA list).


I didn’t know Kentucky was such a hotspot for robotics; I then realized that some Ontario teams were appearing in the Pike of Kentucky for some reason. From then on, I had to separate teams by country.

To be completed in the future
I have some features in mind that I’d like to add. If you’d like to help out and do them yourself, here’s a list of some ideas:

  • Separate lists into years for comparison (each a different color)
  • Separate active teams from inactive (folded) teams
  • Show Districts
  • Show events (Regional and District)

Resources
Link to map:
https://arcg.is/0C1Ob8
Link to Excel sheets:

Note on the naming of the files, if there is a letter followed by a number, the data points are in the USA, and the segmenting of files in general is due to ArcGIS only accepting files under a certain size. The name of the spreadsheet is due to it being the second iteration.

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Great work! I love ArcGIS and think it is a very powerful geospatial tool that more people should know about.

One thing that you may be aware of is that all teams from the same city will be displayed in the same location on your map. For instance, one overlapping dot represents all San Francisco teams and another one overlapping dot represents all Detroit teams. This may offer another area of improvement to add to your “To be completed in the future” list.

I’m not sure how https://firstmap.github.io got its locations, but they seem to be sourced from a data set that is more accurate than yours. Unfortunately, that map is not up to date, missing all 2019 rookies.

Yeah. It’s a bit annoying because it’s not quite visualizing the full scope of the amount of teams there, but that can be fixed by making a heatmap or by making dots have transparency. Unfortunately, I cannot enter data in more than chunks of 100, so making a heatmap that would align to all data points would be tricky. Unless you know of another way, I believe I will just have to make either a proportional symbol or a transparency/color gradient to show how many teams are in each. To do either would probably make me have to separate teams into cities, which would kinda suck.

They say that they got team information from TBA like I did, and I’m assuming they used GeoNames to find the coordinates of the locations of each team. Past that, it’s a combination of teams correcting their own coordinates and something else that I wouldn’t know of.

Wow, uhh… there’s a lot of teams in Michigan.

I never realized how US-centric FIRST is until seeing this.

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I’d love to see if you could pull the firstmap data points into this to add more accuracy!

Personally, I’d like to have some way to calculate things in some sort of basic scripting language, so we can see the average distance teams would travel, or if districts would make sense for X location.

This is missing most of the Turkish teams it seems - but never fear, we have our own map of active teams: https://www.frcturkey.org It’s on the home page here. İstanbul on its own has nearly as many teams as Israel. (but also twice as many residents roughly)

Missing most eWA teams too.

It may just seem like it has less of the teams because the frcturkey map has a dot for every single team, whereas ArcGIS will have teams share the same dot if they are in the same location. What is really nice, and may just fix the issue, is that the frcturkey map has more exact locations than mine. Using that, I can show each team regardless of how close they are.

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What teams are missing?

Unsure if you care about teams doubling up on one dot but here are the NY teams that did. 1493, 1551, 1518, 1559, 1511, 1450, 1507, 1465, 1520, 1462, 1468, 1537, 1546, 1554, appear twice on 1 dot.

Hi, I really am glad that someone began work on this! I was thinking of doing it myself, but I just saw this and I would love to help you develop on the map more.

One thing I did notice was missing teams that were from the same city. For example, there are 4 FRC teams in Lee’s Summit MO. (1730, 1986, 1987, and 6843) but your map right now only includes 1 team, 1987. I specifically know about the FIRST community in Kansas City, so this was the first place I looked on your map. Are you just using the coordinates of the towns for each team or the high school associated with the team?

I’ll have to retract my statement. Reopening it today has added a bunch of teams to the area, which nulls my previous post.

I wonder if there is a possibility to turn this into a density map, representing how many teams are in an area.

The Taiwanese teams appear to be clustered around Shenzhen

Looks like there’s twenty-two teams located at 5th Avenue and James Street, “Seattle”.

Does ArGis generate itself from the Google Sheet you linked above? If so, maybe you could turn on commenting so teams could fix their locations.

I thought I clicked on all the dots, I didn’t see the 1 of 56. I saw 1 of 3 here and there. Still most of them aren’t in the right place at all. They’re in the “center” of their district, if they’re even listed in the right district.

No, here’s a list of exactly what I did:

  1. Went to TBA and copied all the team numbers, names, and locations
    https://www.thebluealliance.com/teams
  2. Created separate sheets for every 1000 teams (1-999, 1000-1999, etc)
  3. Removed all entries with partial information (no team name or location)
  4. Separated all non-USA teams from the USA teams and made a sheet with all of them on it
  5. Separated all the non-USA teams by country into their own sheet
  6. Divided every sheet into sections of 100
  7. Uploaded all the files into ArcGIS
    To upload the files, I selected ‘Addresses or Places’ and selected the country (hence why each country had their own separate sheet)
    image
    To make it better, I could use the coordinates of each team to be more accurate and prevent the annoying dots, but unfortunately I have no way of getting that information (or at least don’t know it)

Yes there is; to do so, I need to import all the teams at once, which isn’t possible with the free version of ArcGIS.

Being from Michigan, I forget how few teams are in other states and countries. It feels like every where I go I am going to meet someone in FIRST until I am out of state.

Relating to the topic of “The Geography of FIRST”, here are some interesting figures I was able to make using @Caleb_Sykes Elo database.


I only included the continental U.S. because Alaska/Hawaii/PR were barely colored in. I tried making this again but by country, however nothing showed any color except the US.


(I took each teams Elo and subtracted 1500 to normalize it)

Back in the USA, here are all teams w/ an Elo of 1700 or higher:


(not pictured: 359 in Hawaii)

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Hey, I cant find 5124 :wink: