Mapping domain codes, or not

I wanted to love this graphic. It’s beautiful, bold and simple. But…

…without reading the small print, write down what you’d immediately assume this graphic to be about*.

The first two things that hit you are a world map and domain codes. So I assumed – fairly I’d argue – this was a worldwide comparison of how many websites each country has under their domain code. A good idea for a graphic.

In fact the size of the domain codes are proportional to country population. And that comparison isn’t actually correct, the biggest and smallest having been reduced and enlarged respectively to ‘fit’.

So for all this graphic is beautiful, it is misleading because who stops to read the small print?

*This is a good test when developing a graphic. Do the most immediately visible elements represent what the graphic is about?