The coolest part about The Guardian’s dynamic graphic on gay rights in the United States may be its Facebook integration. The infographic illustrates the level of rights — from adoption and schools to same-sex marriage and employment — granted by each of the 50 states, grouped by region, and then proportionally breaks it down by the states in which your Facebook friends live.
Interestingly enough, this matters. The reconfigured breakdown is more relevant to one’s life because it personalizes the issues to a degree, giving one a sense that these issues matter differently depending on where many of the people you care about now live. (Mine’s heavily weighted with North Dakotans and Minnesotans considering I’m a Midwestern boy, but who knew I had friends in four-fifths of the country.)
A small quibble, though. The circular shape of the graphic inherently weights the importance of an issue depending upon which concentric circle it occupies. In this case, the more proximate the issue type is to the circle’s center, the less area it takes up and, therefore I wonder, seems less important. One way to balance this might have been to assign bolder, more aggressive colors to the more interior circles: schools might be assigned the red now designated for marriage and marriage be assigned that Columbia blue.