Location-based data is packed with insight, but it can be hard to visualize. People are often intimidated by mapping and geocoding, but avoiding maps can restrict the value of location-based data.
Maps are more than just a new layout for your data; they're topical. People make associations with different geographies, so by putting data on a map, you're already telling a story. For example, the Council on Foreign Relations uses a map to measure outbreaks of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines, sparking questions about geographical and political forces at play. Imagine the lesser impact this data would have if it were assembled in a table.
And I'm not the only fan; our community is crazy about maps. Let's take a look at some especially innovative uses of maps in recent times. (Click on an image to view the viz.)
Neil Charles visualized the ups and downs of cross-country paragliding in the UK:
In the spirit of love, Clara Siegel visualized top love songs by U.S. state: