Visualizing the Economic Impacts of Amusement Parks and Attractions

Visualizing the Economic Impacts of Amusement Parks and Attractions

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Foundation recently released its U.S. Economic Impact report along with an app (only available for members), enabling users to visualize the industry’s growth and positive influences on job creation and tax revenues at the federal, state, and local levels.

Using data evaluated by Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Tourism Economics, Azavea developed a web application allowing visitors to filter by attraction type (such as museums or historical sites), and year.  A state-by-state map, data table, and charts are instantly updated to reflect the selections. With the click of a button, users can download a CSV spreadsheet containing all of the data, or just the fields they select.

The app uses a variety of toolsets to produce quick, crisp results in a product that is compatible with any major web browser as well as the iPad.  Because it is built entirely as a Javascript application, there are no server-side application or database components to maintain or special software required.  Updates can be made using a simple text editor.  Since everything runs in the browser, IAAPA has the ability to distribute the app at trade shows, on CDs, or USB flash drives, and it will even work without an internet connection.

jVectorMap is used to produce a national map showing total sales, jobs, labor income, and tax revenues for each state.  We used geostats.js to classify the data into groups, which are each assigned a color representing a range of values. Highcharts JS was used to produce the bar and pie charts.  Each chart is customizable, which enabled us to easily add hover-over popups with more details, format currency, include legends, and match the colors used in the charts with the rest of the page.

By implementing these tools, we’ve been able to create a straightforward, informational, and captivating application that illustrates the far-reaching effects of the attractions industry.  More info on the IAAPA Foundation’s U.S. Economic Impact report is available here: