Yes I did make the map, and sadly it is fake. I grew up in Arlington, VA...but I went to school at NC State. Several times a year I would make the drive up and down I-95 to DC. After a while I began to plan my rest stops based on whether or not I thought they would have sweet tea. Obviously, I'm a big fan. This went on for a year or two and developed a mental sweet tea map. I was studying graphic design at the time and we had an assignment to graphically map something of interest. Most students choose things like mitosis or the cycle of water, but I knew exactly what I wanted to 'map'. Because it was a student project, and I didn't want to actually contact every McDonalds in VA, made up the data based on my experiences.(Go ahead, visit his site and contribute to that spike.)
Was is more interest, at least to me, is that I did that project in 2004, and it's sat on my personal domain, with no updates, and no visitors for three years. I'm not sure how it suddenly reached the blogosphere, but it's been a welcome spike in visitors.
Sweet Tea: Update!
So, a funny coincidence (one of my favorite redundancies of all time) led me to the personal email address of Justin Stimmel, interactive artist and the brains behind that sweet tea map I wrote about earlier today. Turns out that he designed the map for a graphic design project using Flash, and the data was completely made up! As he explains: