interactive maps of broadband speeds

A recent UK online newspaper article includes an interactive map of UK broadband speeds.  Text above the map states, “Use our interactive map to find the results for your area.”  That statement presents the map as a data access tool.  But the map includes color-coded markers that provide a quick visualization of the geographic distribution of broadband speeds.  Unfortunately, hard-coded into this visualization are particular color-change levels:

  • Large red icon: Under 4Mbps
  • Small yellow icon: Between 4Mbps and 7Mbps
  • Large green icon: Over 7Mbps

The article provides no explanation for the use or importance of 4Mbps and 7Mbps thresholds.  Given that the interactive map doesn’t allow the user to change these thresholds, at least some explanation should have been provided to justify those choices.

With Needle, users can easily change mapping thresholds.  Here’s a broadband speed map for the US, and here’s how to change the mapping threshold.

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