Sunday, 11 October 2009

McDonald's America

The map I have chosen from Strange Maps is The McFarthest Place: 145 Mi to the Nearest Big Mac. Created by Spephen Von Worley, the map contains McDonald's locations throughout the United States and displays the distance between them. Interestingly, the coast is scattered with McDonalds restaurants and this visually creates an almost perfect border of the US.

Von Worley found that "The McFarthest Spot" is in South Dakota, 145 miles away from the nearest McDonalds. This is not surprsing considering South Dakota's rural roots. Other "McSparse" areas of the US include Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. These are states known for either their forests, rivers, mountains or vast deserts.

Predictably, the densely populated east coast is saturated with McDonald's restaurants, closely followed by the west coast. Conclusively, Big Mac addicts are not advised to venture out into rural areas of the US.

Since watching Morgan Spulock's documentary film Super Size Me I have been fascinated by McDonald's popularity not only in America but also the fast food chain's globalization across the world. Despite an obesity "epidemic" and clear evidence that fast food can damage physical and psychological well-being, the principles of fast food dominate many sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world. This is undoubtably because of convenience among other factors. The chain's worldwide popularity can perhaps be explained by the "Americanisation" of many countries, especially in regards to corporate influence. Spulock's film certainly impacted the fast food industry as marketing strategy for McDonald's and their competitor Burger King has significantly changed since. That being said fast food still remains popular as ever.

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