Integrity Deploys Worst Map Ever
The word “interactive” lost all meaning to software designers around about, oh, 1996, and this map from Integrity shows why. It’s advertised as an “interactive” map showing the status of the Episcopal Church’s dioceses as regards same-sex blessings. Now the awfulness of the data the map is designed to show aside, this is a horrible implementation of Google Maps; perhaps one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
For one, look at the pins. What’s the first thing the brain does when the eyes see pins on a map? It instantly makes two assumptions: One, that the pins are pointing to something specific, and two, that the more dense the pins in a particular area, the higher the incidence of whatever datum the map is illustrating.
Neither of those are true here, and it gets worse. There are three SSB statuses: Yes, No, and Unknown. When you click on a pin, you get a popup that shows the name of the diocese and its status.
Ah but wait: The pins are color-coded, which makes the popups pointless, other than to indicate exactly which diocese the pin is pointing to.
Only… the pins don’t point to dioceses. Many just point to random coordinates within a diocese. Take Mississippi, for example: Its pin doesn’t point to the see city of Jackson, or even to a parish that has done a same-sex blessing. It points to an empty field somewhere between Lexington and Durant, where, I assure you, there is not only not an Episcopal church, but no one for dozens of miles who’s even vaguely supportive of same-sex blessings.
If you want to show which dioceses in the Episcopal Church allow same-sex blessings, you do one of two things: You make a 3-column list, one for each status, and list the dioceses in alphabetical order inside the column that indicates the status of each; or, you create a map on which you shade the outline of each diocese in one of three colors which indicates its status. Perhaps the worst thing you can is what Integrity has done - drop pins in the middle of pastures which, when clicked, give you the same information conveyed by the color of the pin itself.
Again, the data it’s trying to convey quite aside, this map is an offense against good taste and decency. I suppose if I didn’t expect more in the way of style and panache from teh gheyz at Integrity it wouldn’t bother me so much.
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