Different Approaches to Portraying the United States in Data Visualizations

Sorry I’m kind of a NYTimes fangirl but I stumbled across both of these on social media this morning.

I know we were talking a lot about our visualizations last week and how to play around with the shape of the United States when portraying data.  I thought these were two interesting examples.

The first is a look at how gay marriage has expanded state by state.  Here, the states are squares roughly in the shape of the U.S.  The color corresponds to some point in the evolution of gay marriage rights.  Check out that graphic here.

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The second is just an illustration, but it is as if the United States is made up of emojis.  Kind of an interesting look at the 50 states of emoticons.  You can check the column that goes with it here.

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Queer Representation in the Media

Autostraddle is the blog I mentioned in class which recaps all television shows that currently have queer female characters. You can find the recaps in their blog’s television section (with sub-sections for each show that has been recapped):


GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) publishes an annual report on queer representation in television, comparing the current year to years before it as well. This is the latest report:


This article on Autostraddle talks about the concept of ‘queerbaiting’ – when tv shows or movies hint at queerness or queer relationships to get the attention/interest of LGBT viewers but then make it clear either continuously or later on that the characters are straight (to pander to less tolerant viewers).