Analyzing store location coverage using a Voronoi diagram
Voronoi diagrams are a very useful tool to build influence regions from a set of points and the Spatial Extension provides a convenient function to build them. An example application of these diagrams is the calculation of the coverage areas of a series of Starbucks stores. In the following query we are going to calculate these influence areas in Atlanta.
The result can be seen in the visualization below, where the color of each polygon indicates its area, which gives an insight on the coverage provided by each store.
Prior to the calculation of the Voronoi diagrams, we use
ST_ENVELOPE in order to calculate a boundary that covers all the Starbucks stores in our selection. This boundary is used to clip the resulting Voronoi polygons. If the bounding box parameter were not passed to
ST_VORONOIPOLYGONS, the polygons would extend all over the map.
With this simple analysis we can identify at a glance areas where the coverage could be improved and therefore new stores could be placed.