There must be something innate about maps, about this one specific way of picturing our world and our relation to it, that charms us, calls to us, won’t let us look anywhere else in the room if there’s a map on the wall.
The Junk Charts Trifecta Checkup is a general framework for data visualization criticism. The need for such a framework is clear. Opinion pieces on specific data graphics frequently come across as stream of conscience. Proclaiming a chart “mind-blowing” or “worst of the century” isn’t worth much if the author cannot articulate why.