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Meaningless Indices

May 16, 2010

So you have made a beautiful map. Correct projection. Great colors. Simple symbology. Extremely readable. How do your ruin it now? Make it rely on a meaningless index.

But wait! You might say, “the Human Development Index is extremely meaningful, the UN uses it all the time.” Sure, but as discussed here, this map wasn’t actually made using comparable data. Instead, the data used here came from a wikipedia dataset that closely mirrors work done by the American Human Development Project, but cannot be sourced. Therefore, while perhaps plausible,¬† the map is meaningless.

Next up:

As I stated in the last post, this map is the worst map I have ever seen. Red-green color scheme, mercator (or maybe even worse) projection, and worst of all, a meaningless¬† “Any Apple Index”¬† that is not explained by the map’s source – http://smrb.com/web/guest/apple-market-ranker . I guess we have to pay to see what any of this actually means.

In sum, if you are going to make a map, and your map is based on an index, please explain how you got there. Otherwise you are useless.

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