John's O&M Lesson 4: Analyzing Map Data

Lesson 4: Analyze Map Data 

The goal of this map is to learn how to analyze map data to draw conclusions. The pattern of POIs indicate that there are two main clusters of businesses. Why?

This activity is designed to encourage the student to independently explore the map, discover a pattern and then come up with a reason for this pattern. Once the student has discovered the pattern - and hopefully a reason why this pattern has emerged, then discuss Bypasses and Business Routes. (If you discuss these terms first, it will give away the answer!)

PBO Town Map

  • What patterns emerge with this map? (Let the student discover and tell you that there are two groups of POIs - one is in the older downtown and the other is by the Highway 64 Bypass). Why is this pattern common with small towns?
  • Why are stores like Lowes Home Improvement located near Bypass 64? Why is the store located there? (This question is a hint to the reason for the pattern!)

Bypass vs. Business Route

Ask your student what these two terms mean (in relationship to highways/interstates); then discuss the terms.

"Bypass" means to go past or around. When used to describe a road, a "bypass" is a road passing around a town or its center to provide an alternative route for through traffic.

"Business Route" is a road that goes through the business district of a town or city. Business routes usually go straight through the center of town; as small towns grow, the downtown area may run out of space to expand and becomes congested with traffic. A new road - often a highway or interstate with multiple lanes - is built to go around the town. Along the new bypass there is room to build and additional businesses - often larger retail businesses - are built. The original smaller store fronts and roads through town often becomes the "historic district" of the town. 

Pittsboro was established as a town in 1785. With Pittsboro, East Street and West Street have become "Business 64". Starting at the Historic Courthouse and going north on Hillsboro Street is the smaller store fronts; several blocks out in each direction from the Historic Courthouse are old, stately homes. Opening in 2005, Highway 64 Bypass, is an 8 mile loop around the north side of Pittsboro. 

  • Where are most of the fast food restaurants located? Why? (Close to Bypass 64; hoping to catch travelers driving on the highway who do not intend to go into Pittsboro.
  • Why are the "local" (not chain restaurants) closer to historic Pittsboro? (Restaurants such as Al's Diner, S&T's Soda Shoppe and Virlies are locally owned, have been in Pittsboro for decades, and are often passed down through the local families. These restaurants tend to be smaller and are local hang-outs.
  • What restaurant would you like to try in Pittsboro?
  • What businesses could John walk to from home?
  • Besides the businesses by Bypass 64 and Hillsboro Street, where else do you think there was growth in Pittsboro? When did this growth appear? (East Street closer to Bypass 64 and East Street intersection - there are a few chain restaurants such as Domino's Pizza. The historic downtown was the original town. The small growth along East street happened before Bypass 64. The most recent (and continuing growth) is on Hillsboro Street on the far side of Bypass 64.)