Exploratory Economic Analysis of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

15 June 2015 by Steve Krueger

We kicked off our 2015 Human Geography Analytics efforts with data we collected this past spring in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. This city is in the tri-border area where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina meet along the Iguazú and Paraná rivers. The goal of this effort has been to incorporate multiple taxonomy themes from the World-Wide Human Geography Data Working Group into a concise dataset. The resulting dataset was designed to concentrate on the Economy theme but in total covers 8 out of the 13 themes. This post will give a brief overview of our attribution and break down a portion of the results.

Attribution Overview

This survey focuses on small food stores, produce stands, and markets. Small food stores are defined as everyday grocery stores other than large chains. Markets are large meeting locations for farmers and grocers to sell their goods. Finally, produce stands are permanent stands that predominantly sell fresh produce and meats but are not in a market environment.

The specific attributes we focused on for this survey are dominant food items, dominant non-food items, specialty items, and prices of fixed staple foods (chicken, salt, cooking oil, flour, and rice). We collected standard and verifiable attributes such as store name, address, neighborhood, contact information, and opening hours. Additionally, we captured attributes that are only verifiable on the ground including communication infrastructure, security features, perceived crime, and demographics.

Distribution of Points in Ciudad del Este

Tri-border Area, Economy Survey Basemap © OpenStreetMap contributors © CartoDB

Exploratory Data Analysis

The majority of the locations recorded are small food stores which represent 94% of the total records. This heavy influence of small food stores is noticeable in the analysis of other attributes associated with the locations. For instance, items typically found in small food stores such as alcohol and other beverages are found in 78% and 89% of all records respectively. In addition, some results that we found to be surprising are the lack of availability of produce and staple grains in the surveyed stores. This suggests that the typical small food store does not provide produce and staple grocery items to their customers.

Food Items Availability

Food Items Availability

Common non-food items were included in the survey in order to better understand what needs a store serves for the neighborhood. Cigarettes, like alcohol, are very common in these stores and are available in 81% of features. These results may indicate that these stores are common places to quickly stop in to pick up consumable leisure items as well as necessities like toiletries rather than serve as common sources of groceries.

Non-Food Items Availability

Non-Food Items Availability

We created the specialty items list to assist in determining various demographic information surrounding a store. We found it is relatively uncommon that these items dominate a store’s inventory. Baby products are the most common items from the list, but are still only found in 18% of the records. This may suggest that these particular stores are more accessible to mothers. Similarly, stores that offered Halal products were found in downtown neighborhoods and may indicate more religious diversity in the area.

Specialty Items Availability

Special Items

This has been a preliminary look at the analysis of our data collection. Learn more about our 2015 analytics efforts by visiting us at GEOINT 2015 Symposium, booth 9058.

Small Food Store

Permanent Produce


Stashed changes

Steve Krueger

About the author

Steve utilizes open source tools to design a comprehensive database for the management of our geospatial data.