Friday, September 11, 2009

Mapping the 7 Deadly Sins

Wired reports on series of maps that folks at Kansas State put together to show the distribution of the vices across America. While you may have qualms with their definitions of Gluttony or Sloth (and some Christian clergy are questioning the "science" behind it), it makes for an interesting look.

What I noticed right away was that many of the Devilish spots are simply the densely populated areas, and many of the Saintly regions are the "fly-over states" (well, the northern ones anyway). If I had the data, and was good at mapping software, I would make some sort of map that took into account population density. Instead, I just took a density map and made it alternate with the sinfulness map for each of the vices. (Please check the article first so you know how they define all their sins.)
  • Greed - This one is probably the best correlated with density, which makes sense because cities generally have more poor and really rich people than the countryside or suburbs.
  • Envy - Correlates pretty well with density, except that the Northeast gets off rather unscathed. And holy crap Pacific Northwest! Is everyone stealing each other's bikes, coffees, and chai teas?
  • Wrath - Surprisingly uncorrelated. I was especially surprised at the saintlyness of LA / San Diego and Illinois / Indiana / Ohio.
  • Sloth - This one doesn't really tell us much except that the western Montanas really like to go out and see shows.
  • Gluttony - The extreme concentrations and lack of saintlyness makes this map kinda suspect. Could San Antonio and Odessa, TX, a select portion of Appalachia, and greater greater Virginia Beach really have so many more fast food restaurants that the differences in the rest of the country don't merit a green-to-white gradient?
  • Lust - Another vice unrelated to density. The Deep South and Rapid City, SD have enough STD cases to mask any indication of metropolitan areas.
  • Pride - It would be very interesting if some other form of "state pride" or "proudness of being American" could be mapped.

1 comment:

  1. i only looked at a couple of these so far, but it's immediately more interesting comparing regular population density to the per-capita statistics they're using and then seeing where the discrepencies are between the two maps. Gluttony and Pride were both so suspicious looking... nice thinking!