Map: Addiction's deadly trail

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Phil L.
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 9:13am
I wonder about the decision to display Michigan counties with only two colors. For example, Muskegon County had a rate of about 19 deaths per 100,000 in 2014 and its southern neighbor, Ottawa County, had a rate of about 11 per 100,000. That's quite different, yet both are colored green. Any rate over 20 per 100,000 triggers the color red. By picking only two colors, in particular red and green, you force an interpretation of the data into binary roles. That, plus the convention that red is bad and green is good, reduces the information to its simplest form. (Although I would agree that 20 per 100K is bad, I can't say 19 per 100K is good.) Thanks for the data, but there should be more thought into the visualization of quantifiable data.
Mike Wilkinson
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:52pm
Phil, I appreciate your comments. I chose to use two colors because there was a small subset of counties who had reached that upper level of > 20. Yes, I could have added others to show the gradations but since this story had another map, which looked at those counties with the highest risk of a potential HIV/Hepatitis outbreak, I went solely with the two shades.
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:11am
On my screen, I cannot read Calhoun, Eaton, and other counties statistics due to the placement of the key.
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:12am
Never mind! I was able to move the map.
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:00pm
How does the unemployment rate in the red and green counties correlate with this data?
Mike Wilkinson
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:56pm
Connie, Unemployment, drug use/overdose rate, percent of population that is white and income were the risk factors the CDC evaluated when it tried to determine what counties were most at risk to have an outbreak similar to the one in Indiana.
Sun, 08/21/2016 - 1:20pm
The more I read of the past history of government officials in the U.S. capitol, the sorry past actions of Legislators in Michigan and people connected with America, that have Mega Bucks wealth; the more I am suspect of all of them. Then you hear these quote " Discussion Groups" on TV and such, all they seem to do is argue. Nothing ever gets done to make any thing better. Political People or Wealthy People do not seem to want to help fix problems until it hits there family and friends. Then the problem is hitting them and I am supposed to care about these Political People and the Wealthy People. You have another thing coming. It is called doing your job and giving back.