Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, a team from Virginia Tech's Discovery Analytics Center has mapped every taco truck in the United States. Yes, you read that correct. Virginia Tech researcher Nathan Self says the taco team used Yelp to help identify the trucks. The group gathered a total of 8,061 taco trucks in the United States as of May 2019. What originally began as a "cool little side project," has actually turned out some interesting results.
"The gaps from number 1 to number 2 is surprising. So we came up with just over 1100 in Los Angeles." Self says it's no surprise L.A. has the most taco trucks in the country.
"The runner up is Houston Texas with just less than 400."
The site uses the Yelp API to gather the locations of all trucks . Nearby trucks are binned into hexagons, which provides a visual representation of the number of trucks in that area. Users can also narrow their search by color as each represents the median Yelp rating. According to their website, "This map is an update to our September 2016 map which located the 5,500 taco trucks in the US at that time. The earlier study was in response to a presidential campaign pundit warning that there could be “taco trucks on every corner.” We were curious about how many there actually were."
Check out the map here!