Your State of Happiness

Mapping Your World

Kate Berg is GIS lead at the State of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and an honoree in xyHt’s 22 Young Geospatial Professionals to Watch in 2022. She has a BS in GIS from UCLA and an MS in natural resources and environment from the University of Michigan. She has taught GIS at the university level and is outreach chair for URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet of Young Professionals. 

She created the map using ArcGIS Prof for Day 4 of the 2020 #30DayMapChallenge. “I had found this dataset prior to the challenge and was looking for an excuse to make something with it,” Berg says. “The data tries to identify the happiest states in America based on several indicators, including emotions, ‘physical-ness,’ work, and community. 

“There was so much information in the happiness dataset (an overall rank as well as emotional and physical well-being rank, work environment rank, and community and environment rank) that I had to get creative on how to show it. It couldn’t be as simple as one hexagon per state … it needed four overlapping hexagons. I ended up playing with offsets to get the desired effect and I’m pretty happy with it—although, apparently, I live in a pretty averagely happy state (Michigan).”

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