Playground Projects


In the summer of 2015, this news appeared in the main media around the world.

You probably remember the 2015 user data leak of Ashley Madison, online dating service targeting married individuals looking for discreet affairs. And you might even remember this image:


Media success

At the height of the media scandal caused by hackers releasing users’ personal data, our team had the idea to create a visualization of infidelity worldwide. We ran tests on just 3 million users, and after removing personal details we organized the information by gender, city, and country. We used the results to create a map on CartoDB.

The map had two layers: an intensity map that displayed the distribution of Ashley Madison users around the world, and another that showed the ratio of men and women in each city, highlighting cities with more than 15% female users.

We discovered that the large majority of Ashley Madison users around the world are men, but that in countries like India, South Africa, or Brazil, the proportion of women is larger (15%-20%) than in central and southern Europe (less than 10%).

In the end, we decided to expand the information and include the full database of user information. After 8 hours of work examining the data of 30 million users, we published the final map displaying more than 50,000 points around the world.

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