In the hopes of sparking some interesting discussion...
The last few years have seen a surge in the number of cartograms being produced. There's software for them now that's relatively easy to use (Springtoad is one I've dabbled with). However, I think that they sometimes miss their goal.
For example, I can deal with this one:
I understand the message it's trying to communicate, no problems there. Not sure about the color choice, I think it would make more sense to reverse it, but that's a detail.
But this one, which I also came across yesterday, baffles me:
It's a pretty picture, yes, but I can't help thinking they use a population cartogram "because they can". I have a very hard time getting any information out of this map and I am honestly wondering whether using small multiples wouldn't be an easier way to communicate the message (apart from the fact I'm not sure lightning strikes and population density have much to do with eachother).
I think the main problem I have with this one is that they're trying to illustrate the geographic relationship between two themes, while distorting the geography. Does anybody else share this feeling, or am I missing the point completely?