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Why we love it

We love this map because it tells a clear, playful story: Where in the US do more people prefer beer, and where do they prefer wine. Using data on per capita sales, the map’s colors indicate preferences around the country. Areas where people spend more money on either beer or wine appear brighter. Places where people are not spending a lot on beer or wine, recede into the dark background. A simple legend uses icons and colors that coordinate with the map title.

Why it works

A traditional approach might be to make two maps that can be compared side by side. This map works by allowing two subjects to be compared in one map using what’s known as bivariate mapping. Color hues pay tribute to the subject of the map—amber for beer and purple for wine. Brightness levels convey an overall sense of sales volume. As a result, we can see regional variations and nuances that help us understand the sometimes fickle spending habits of US consumers.

See the story map

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