Interactive. Do You Trust This Map?

On cable news and in our social media feeds, in corporate press releases and in campaign advertisements, maps are a big part of our media diet. But how do we evaluate which maps are trustworthy and which deserve more skepticism? In this interactive, we’ve collected a constantly-updated feed of maps from the news. It’s up to you to decide which ones you trust and which ones raise your skepticism. As you look at each map, ask yourselves questions like:

  • How is the title, labeling, and other text framing the argument of what this map is about?
  • How is the data on the map being symbolized?
  • What evidence do I have about where the information was gathered and how it was processed?
  • What other cartographic techniques have the mapmaker used in simplifying and visualizing information?
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Robinson 2019
Anthony C. Robinson, “Elements of Viral Cartography,” Cartography and Geographic Information Science 46, no. 4 (March 8, 2019): 293–310. doi:10.1080/14616700220129964
Donovan 2020
Joan Donovan, “Social-Media Companies Must Flatten the Curve of Misinformation,” Nature (April 14, 2020). doi:10.1038/d41586-020-01107-z