Misleading COVID-19 map

This map is an Edward Tufte-level poster child of the poor visual display of quantitative information.

MSNBC show it at least once a day.

At first glance it appears to show that Wyoming, Vermont, and Maine are *much* safer places than COVID-19 hotspots like California and Texas. Look! They have less than 1,000 cases … hardly surprising given that the population of WY of 578,000 vs. 39 million in CA.

Hasn’t anyone heard of percentages?

What’s more, the States with 500,000+ cases are counter-intuitively darker than the States with 1+ million. Adding final insult to injury, the title font with the confirmed case total is smaller than the total fatality number — yet this is a map of cases, not fatalities.

“The minimum we should hope for with any display technology is that it should do no harm.”― Edward Tufte, author The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

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