Objective: The main objective of this map is to study the prevalence of obesity in USA.
Critique: Before any of the experts in data science or data visualization criticize my project in their blogs let me inform you that i am trying to learn and use tile mill, Qgis and scape toad via this data. I am quiet aware that
1) Alaska looks bigger than it should be. I am not sure why but the shape file is the same
2) A better way to show the prevalence of obesity is via a choropleth map over time but www.cdc.gov already does this for their viewer.
3) A better way would be to show the same image for 2 different time span and show them side by side but the data for obesity in 1990 is not available for all the states and so it would not be a fair comparision.
usefulness of the distorted map: A good way to use a distorted map like this one is to show population or real estate prices in each state, or internet users. The possibilities are endless.
Technology: I have used a QGIS (open source) for creating shapefiles, Scape toad for creating distorted map and tile mill for making the map look prettier.
1)www.cdc.gov - for data
2)https://www.census.gov/ - for USA states shape file
3)http://spatial.ly/2013/06/r_activity/ - for inspiration