Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan discusses the decision-tree style infographic, Do You Live In A City?, designed by Nelson Hsu, Natalie Jones, Melanie Taube, and Tanya Ballard Brown, which despite disclaiming that it "may (or may not) show you if you're really an urbanite," has NPR's commenters all in a huff.
"The decision-tree style image leads you through a series of mundane binary inquiries, finally spitting you out at one of six possible answers, ranging from 'Definitely Yes' to 'Definitely No,'" writes Campbell-Dollaghan. "Obvious factors, like transportation mode and housing type, are joined by more inexplicable ones, like how long it takes you to get to Starbucks and whether or not you go to work before dawn."
"I'm going to use this chart in my class as an example of all of the things that can go wrong with decision tree diagrams: double barreled questions, non-exclusive choices, ambiguous paths, suspect definitions, etc." reads one of the series of complaints (this one by ChicagoSouth) left in the comments section of the post.
"The chart says far more about our flawed understanding of cities, than of cities themselves," writes Campbell-Dollaghan. We prefer to think it says more about NPR readers' need to lighten up.