Mapping Jimmy John’s Non-Compete Sandwich Zones

This week it was reported that U.S. sandwich restaurant chain Jimmy John’s requires their deli employees to sign non-compete agreements. This revelation has sparked lots of public dialogue about labor rights, fast food worker unionization and the limits of non-compete agreements.

SigActs - Jimmy John's Logo

Jimmy John’s is headquartered in Champaign, Illinois and has over 2,000 stores in the United States.

The verbiage of a Jimmy John’s employment agreement basically states that for two years after an employee leaves their job, they will not work in the sandwich business anywhere within three miles of any Jimmy John’s location.

As the Huffington Post points out, this creates a nearly 6,000 square mile “employment exclusion zone” in the United States for any former Jimmy John’s employee. In practical terms, this contractual restriction raises an interesting geospatial question about where these former employees can look for other jobs in the sandwich business.

SigActs - Jimmy John's Employees Hard At Work

It was recently revealed that employees at Jimmy John’s, including sandwich makers and delivery drivers, are required to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment.

Map guru Brian Timoney of The Timoney Group (@briantimoney on Twitter) pointed out that a map would help add context to this conversation, and SigActs started crunching coordinates. We have put together an interactive map detailing the collision of the three mile “employment exclusion zones” around each of Jimmy John’s 2,000 U.S. stores.

SigActs - Jimmy John's Interactive Non-Compete Map

Click on the image above to access an interactive map detailing all of Jimmy John’s “employment exclusion zones”.

If static maps are more your style, below are visualizations of “employment exclusion zones” around Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in a few major U.S. cities. Anywhere in red, a former Jimmy John’s employee is forbidden from working in the sandwich business for a two year period.

SigActs - Jimmy John's Exclusion Zones - Denver

The places in red on this map of Denver, Colorado are off limits for any former Jimmy John’s employee looking to work in the sandwich business (imagery credit: Google Earth).

SigActs - Jimmy John's Exclusion Zones - Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota offers few areas for post Jimmy John’s sandwich employment (imagery credit: Google Earth).

SigActs - Jimmy John's Exclusion Zones - Chicago

The “Windy City” of Chicago, Illinois is a stronghold for Jimmy Johns, and a tough place to find a sandwich job for after you hang up your Jimmy John’s apron (imagery credit: Google Earth).

A three mile radius around each Jimmy John’s store seems like a short distance in print, but visualizing the implications of Jimmy John’s non-compete agreement tells a powerful story. Leave your comments and let us know what you think about this issue!

Posted in Business Intelligence, In-depth Analysis, Open Source Intelligence

Mapping the Dairy Queen Data Breach

On October 9, 2014 ice cream chain Dairy Queen confirmed that nearly 400 store locations had customer credit and debit card data compromised by computer malware. Dairy Queen has more than 6,300 restaurants worldwide with 4,500 franchised stores in the United States. This data breach affected nearly 9% of U.S. stores.

SigActs - Dairy Queen Logo

Dairy Queen, often abbreviated DQ, is a chain of ice cream restaurants owned by a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

SigActs assembled data on each breached location and created an interactive map to visualize the extent of the intrusion.

SigActs - Map of Dairy Queen Breach

Click on the image above to access an interactive map of the Dairy Queen locations affected by the recent data breach.

While network intrusions and data breaches may seem like abstract concepts, they involve pieces of tangible equipment and data that is stored on physical hard drives. There are important geospatial dimensions to this type of attack, and seeing breached locations on a map can help an analyst recognize patterns and trends related to an intrusion.

A Dairy Queen restaurant in Meriden, Connecticut. This location was not impacted by the recent data breach.

A Dairy Queen restaurant in Meriden, Connecticut. This location was not impacted by the recent data breach.

Dairy Queen is based in Edina, Minnesota and owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The company is offering customers free identity repair services; details are available in a corporate press release on the data security incident.

Click Here For An Interactive Map Of Breach Locations

Posted in Open Source Intelligence, Retail Security, Technology

SigActs Issued Trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

The United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a trademark (serial number 86382104) for the term “SigActs” to SigActs Inc.

SigActs - Restricted Trademark Symbol

The “Registered Trade Mark” logo signifies that a corporate identity is recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The term SigActs is inspired by a military abbreviation of the phrase Significant Activities. In combat Significant Activity reports detail important incidents occurring on a battlefield.

In today’s globalized economy, news and events transpiring around the world can have an impact on international supply chains, corporate security and public safety. SigActs Inc. has developed the subject matter expertise and raw data necessary to help people and organizations make sense of current events.

This trademark recognizes the SigActs service mark as it relates to “software for identifying and mapping news and events, namely, software for discovering and displaying the geospatial relevance of news and activity reporting”.

Award of this trademark is another exciting milestone for the SigActs brand!

SigActs Inc - Company Logo

SigActs built the Internet’s premier location-based news API, and has extensive experience making geospatial data accessible and actionable.

Posted in Business News, Press Release, SigActs Inc

Future Technologies for Law Enforcement, Courts and Corrections

This week SigActs participated in a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) advisory panel on technology. NIJ is the research, development and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Justice and convenes expert panels in support of it’s mission to improve knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science.

The National Insitue of Justice is an agency organized under the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The National Institute of Justice is a bureau organized under the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Participants in this week’s workshop were charged with looking forward five years to explore what web and internet-related technologies are likely to become available to law enforcement, courts and corrections.

The workshop involved 20 criminal justice practitioners and technology subject matter experts who were brought together for three days of structured discussion at the NIJ headquarters in Washington, DC. The group identified and discussed many emerging possibilities for integrating software, sensors and data into all phases of the U.S. justice process.

SigActs - National Institue Of Justice Workshop

The NIJ advisory panel on technology looked forward five years to explore the technologies likely to become available to law enforcement, courts and corrections.

Among other topics, the panel explored some exciting possibilities for improving law enforcement situational awareness, enhancing crime mapping and strengthening crime analysis practices.

The technology, policy and training needs identified by this advisory panel will be detailed in a final report and published by the RAND Corporation later this year.

The findings of this week's NIJ technology advisory panel will be published in a report by the the Rand Corporation in late 2014.

The findings of this week’s NIJ technology advisory panel will be published later this year in a report by the RAND Corporation.

SigActs is proud to have contributed to this effort, and appreciates the work NIJ is doing to reach across the public and private sectors to identify and analyze key technology issues in criminal justice.

Posted in Crime & Justice, SigActs Inc, Technology

SigActs Awarded Department of Veterans Affairs Contract

We are excited to announce that on September 10, 2014, SigActs Inc. was awarded a $116,000 contract with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

SigActs - Department of Veterans Affairs

VA operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals and clinics.

This contract (award number VA259-14-P-5509) is to provide professional, scientific and technical services (NAICS Code: 541) to the VA Health Care System in Salt Lake City, Utah. The award is the result of a competitive solicitation and bidding process conducted by the Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Consolidated Contracting Center in Glendale, Colorado.

This accomplishment represents an exciting new line of business for SigActs, and we look forward to establishing a reputation of excellence as we build our government contracting portfolio.

Posted in Press Release, SigActs Inc

Pinpointing Russian Troop Locations in Ukraine Using Open Source Intelligence

On August 28, 2014 NATO released a series of satellite images showing Russian troops operating inside the sovereign borders of Ukraine. These images are black and white photos without any specific location details (i.e. no latitude and longitude information was provided).

SigActs Russian Self Propelled Artillery

A NATO slide released on August 28, 2014 with a satellite image showing a Russian self-propelled artillery column operating inside of Ukraine.

The team at SigActs decided to use one of the photos to pinpoint the actual location of a Russian self-propelled artillery column. Using the satellite image snapped on August 21, 2014 and some imagery analysis methods we were able to georeference and accurately overlay the NATO slide onto a Google Maps satellite imagery layer.

SigActs Russian Troops In Ukraine Animated Gif

An animation showing a NATO slide with satellite imagery geo referenced and accurately overlaid on a Google Map.

With this photo “georeferenced” and accessible as a map layer, we can visualize the Russian troop locations in a much more complete context. The Russian troops pictured in the NATO slide are well inside of Ukraine, over 7 miles from the nearest stretch of the Russian border (geographic coordinates: 48.366414, 39.6966667).

Click here to view this area in Google Maps.

In the satellite photo the Russian column is heading West out of Sukhodilsk on a rural road. The town of Sukhodilsk is in the Luhansk Oblast province of Ukraine. According to a 2001 Ukrainian census, 92% of the population in the area around Sukhodilsk is Russian.

SigActs Russian Troop Location Near Sukhodilsk, Ukraine

A SigActs map showing where a Russian troop column was observed operating near Sukhodilsk, Ukraine.

Coal mining is the predominant industry in the area around Sukhodilsk, and the water feature just West of the Russian column location is actually a tailing pond from the nearby coal mines. North of the water feature is a damn owned by a Russian company called Moscow JSC (registered in Moscow as “Donetsk Machinostroitel”).

A SigActs Annotated Map Of The Area Around Sukhodilsk

A map annotated by SigActs analysts with information about the area around Sukhodilsk, Ukraine.

With this additional context, it is reasonable to assume that the Russian self-propelled artillery column depicted in the satellite image is operating in an area with a very pro-Russian population and amidst a local economy heavily tied to Moscow.

SigActs Inc - Company Logo

At SigActs we pride ourselves in adding context to news reporting by unlocking geospatial relevance. When information is visualized on a map it can reveal connections, patterns and trends that might otherwise be missed. We would love to help you visualize where news may have relevance to the places on the Earth that are important to you, your customers and your business!

Posted in Geopolitical Situations, Infrastructure, Military, Open Source Intelligence

Map of Looting in Ferguson, Missouri Since the Death of Michael Brown

On August 9, 2014 an 18-year-old teenager named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident has sparked passionate demonstrations in the town of Ferguson; this unrest has taken the form of peaceful protests, vandalism and looting.

SigActs - Ferguson, Missouri Looting Map

Ferguson is a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri with a population of 21,000 residents. Click on the map above to access an interactive map of the businesses looted in Ferguson, Missouri since the shooting of Michael Brown.

Reporting on the unrest has been carried by many local, national and international media outlets. Dispatches from Ferguson have explored the Michael Brown shooting as it relates to the issues of police use of force, the role of military-grade equipment in local law enforcement and racial diversity in the criminal justice system.

Bridge Protest in Ferguson, Missouri

“Hands Up – Don’t Shoot” has become the mantra of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

While these political and sociological issues will take time to play out and reach resolution, the economic impact of the unrest in Ferguson is much more immediate. The map below shows 20 local stores (represented by red circles) that have fallen victim to looting and vandalism in and around Ferguson.

SigActs - Map of Businesses Looted In Ferguson, Missouri

A Google Earth screenshot looking North at West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson Missouri. Businesses that have been vandalized and looted are represented by red circles.

Most of the affected locations are retail establishments along West Florissant Avenue, and they represent a mix of national chains and independent businesses. Even after protests subside, residents will struggle to establish access to goods and services while these businesses work to rebuild, restock and reopen.

Click Here to Access An Interactive Map of Looted Businesses


Harnessing the power of SigActs Pro, we are able to look beyond the headlines and images to better understand the unrest in Ferguson. Seeing reports of looted businesses displayed geographically on a map is a powerful way to understand the extent of the looting, and the impact to the community of Ferguson, Missouri.

SigActs Map Of Looting In Ferguson, Missouri

Click on the image above to access an interactive map of the businesses looted in Ferguson, Missouri since the shooting of Michael Brown.

Posted in Business Intelligence, Business News, Crime & Justice, Emergency Preparedness