Map showing spread of spotted lanternfly since 2016

I was playing around with this mapping feature and made a map showing the expanding range of the spotted lanternfly since 2016, and thought others might appreciate it too.
https://bit.ly/2koSTWi
I’m a little surprised the range hasn’t expanded more in 2019 (but thankful for that I guess), but the season is not yet over.

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That’s a cool map! I wonder if it has to do with the increasing number of observers combined with the spread of those observers to new ground.
2016: 21 observers
2017: 79 observers
2018: 312 observers
2019: 419 observers

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That’s a clever application of the tool.
We are only 2/3rds of the way through 2019, so still some spreading to go…

I often wonder how much geographical variation in observation has to do with observation density vs organism density. Obviously there are more observations close to urban areas, but I don’t have the statistical chops to test total observation density to density of observations of interest.

In this case, I think the spread is real, mostly due to the connected media coverage of the new invasive species.

I agree. After I made the map I checked against the observations to the current date and saw that a good chunk of the territory “gain” in previous years also happened through the fall, so my thankfulness is probably premature.
Heres a screen shot of observations through sept 9 each year: