Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Title text: There are also a lot of global versions of this map showing traffic to English-language websites which are indistinguishable from maps of the location of internet users who are native English speakers.
In the comic, by comparing three graphs, Cueball comes to the conclusion that the audience (presumably the owners/operators of "our site") should adjust their content or advertising to cater to Martha Stewart and furry porn fans. The actual reason the graphs are same is they all match the population concentration in the U.S., because there is no statistically-significant relation between geographic location and any of the mentioned sub-populations.
A heatmap (the term having been coined and trademarked by Cormac Kinney) is a graph showing three-dimensional data on a two-dimensional image, with each pixel's colour representing the value of the data at that position. It does not necessarily have anything to do with heat, but a heatmap may resemble a thermal image. In this comic, red represents the highest numerical values, then yellow and green, with white the lowest values, in all three maps.
The title text reflects a similar situation in world maps where the website written in English is read by English-speaking users no matter the location, because their ISP and search providers direct them primarily to English websites, so the visitors' geographic graph matches the graph of the global English-speaking population.
- [Three near-identical charts of the 48 contiguous United States are shown with heatmaps depicting population density. The first chart is labelled "Our site's users," the second chart is labelled "Subscribers to Martha Stewart Living," and the third chart is labelled "Consumers of furry pornography." Cueball is standing with a stick pointing at the charts.]
- Cueball: The business implications are clear.
- Pet peeve #208:
- Geographic profile maps which are basically just population maps
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So does this mean... that all the subscribers to Martha Stweart Living are secretly furries? *gasp* 184.108.40.206 23:00, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
No. It means that to people who give motivational talks to people who want to sell you things, all the people included in such maps are called prospects or prospective customers. It is a good explanation for spam. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 07:13, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Clearly it means that the furries are, in general, Martha Stewart fans, not the reverse. Are you mad? -- 220.127.116.11 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- It's a subtle hint that xkcd will be transitioning into Martha Stewart furry porn.18.104.22.168 05:05, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I thought that it was implied that if they switched to furry advertising/content, they could be as successful as Marth Stewart... not that they should combine marth stewart and furry content into their site. -- 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I was expecting some reference to George Lucas' THX 1138 for this comics.
But then, it is not George Lucas who's editing Xkcd...
Paulo Sedrez 126.96.36.199 18:39, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
There is an additional pun, and I do not know if it was intended. One adult furry publication is called Heat. A map of where furry porn is appreciated would therefore also be a Heat map. -- Godel Fishbreath (talk) 15:14, 17 May 2013 (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I'm a little weirded out by the fact that our resident expert on the titles of adult furry publications has the name of "Fishbreath." Makes one wonder where his mouth has been. 188.8.131.52 17:24, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
- Godel Fishbreath. Obviously the answer to your question is undecidable. 184.108.40.206 01:41, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
The 'incomplete' tag refers to the title text. I'm not sure if this refers to the actual title text (which has been explained in the comic), or the title "Heatmap" (which I just added an explanation for). Either way, I think it's covered; I intend to remove the incomplete tag in a few days, if nobody objects. Cosmogoblin (talk) 22:54, 24 June 2015 (UTC)