Data Visualization Critique:Wk 5

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, The Guardian created a map of all the places in the world where Valentine’s Day is celebrated. It’s a sweet, simple visualization that doesn’t claim to convey any heavy data, mostly just trivia, but even then they get a few things wrong.

It’s cute and pretty obvious to use a heart as an icon for Valentine’s Day but why would they use a double heart? It looks like there are two spots in each country and it would drive a user mad to click twice thinking there are two icons so close together when in fact it is just one. This also gives the map an extremely cluttered look, something that could have been easily avoided with a simpler, sharper icon.

When you click on the double heart, you get an interesting tidbit about how Valentine’s is celebrated in that particular country. This is not very elegant, but it is effective. However, the info boxes that popped up also had fields like

2nd Day:
2nd Date Celebrated:
2nd Reason:
3rd Day:
3rd Date Celebrated:
3rd Reason:

Which were all basically empty (for the majority of the countries, even after much random clicking I couldn’t find one that had those fields filled). Were those fields really necessary? They didn’t contain any vital information and it was so sparsely filled you could barely compare it across countries. There could have been so many more sta in those info boxes like “percentage of population married” or “percentage of single men/women”, something to do with love or romance.

This ended up being a pretty dull representation of what could have been a really fun visual.


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