A shoutout to Keir Clarke at Maps Mania, whose coverage of election maps is such that whenever I think, “hey, that country just had an election, I ought to write a post collecting some maps of the results,” I usually find that Keir has already beaten me to the punch.
Leading up to last Saturday’s federal election in Australia, ABC News Australia had a page explaining the usual problem with geographic electoral maps when sparsely populated rural districts are enormous and lots of voters are concentrated in the cities. Calling the page “The Australian electoral map has been lying to you” might have been torquing things a bit, though. Then again, via Maps Mania, live election results maps from The Australian and The Guardian both use straight geographic maps, so maybe not.
Julien Gaffuri’s map of the second-round results of the French presidential election is, as you can see, extraordinarily busy—and, by the way, extremely processor-intensive: it will slow down your machine—because it’s at the commune level and each circle is scaled to population. (News flash: Paris has lots of people in it.) And those circles are striped circles: the proportion of the votes is indicated by the area taken up by a given colour. The map of the first round results shows more stripes (because more candidates) but is by department, so it’s a little easier both to read and to see how the striped circle format works. It’s an interesting alternative to a choropleth map, and a bit less ambiguous.
France 24’s interactive map (right) covers both first and second rounds and shows results by region, department and commune. It is annoyingly unlabelled, which is a surprising choice for France’s English-language news service. Le Monde’s map uses a similar colour scheme—yellow/orange for Macron, grey/brown for Le Pen—but at least has mouseover labels.
Le Parisien’s maps aren’t interactive, nor are they particularly large, but they illustrate other aspects of the results, like the abstentions, voter turnout and differences vs. the 2017 vote. The Guardian’s maps are low on detail but provide similar information. Libération’s map, on the other hand, is a cluttered mess, showing each commune as a proportionally sized dot. [Maps Mania]
Previously: 2022 French Presidential Election (First Round).
Some maps showing the results of the first round of France’s 2022 presidential election. Le Monde’s interactive map shows the winner by commune: it has all the caveats you’d expect from a geographical map (the cities have a lot of voters but not much territory, making Le Pen’s rural support look more impressive). Bloomberg’s maps are behind a paywall: see this Twitter thread instead, which has maps of the regional concentrations of each candidate’s support. (With a dozen candidates on the ballot, it’s hard to get a true picture from a single map.) Also on Twitter, Dominic Royé’s dasymetric maps of the results [Maps Mania].
xkcd did another map thing, so I have to post about it; it’s a rule. This time Randall revisits the design of the map he did for the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in which one figure represents 250,000 votes for each candidate. In a Twitter thread, he explains the rationale for the map:
It tries to address something that I find frustrating about election maps: Very few of them do a good job of showing where voters are. […] There are more Trump voters in California than Texas, more Biden voters in Texas than New York, more Trump voters in New York than Ohio, more Biden voters in Ohio than Massachusetts, more Trump voters in Massachusetts than Mississippi, and more Biden voters in Mississippi than Vermont.
Previously: xkcd’s 2016 Election Map.
Election-atlas.ca, the collection of historical Canadian election results maps I first told you about in 2018, has added poll-by-poll results for the 2019 Canadian federal election. Also, since we last saw them it seems they’ve extended their historical results further back in time—as far back as 1896 for the federal results.
Bothered by the widespread use of Web Mercator by Canadian news outlets to show last week’s election results, Kenneth Field has posted an article that aims to address the problem. Static maps of Canada tend to use a conic projection like the Albers or the Lambert, and that’s the case for print election maps as well. Online interactive maps, on the other hand, use off-the-shelf tools that use Web Mercator, which results in the sparsely populated territories looking even more enormous. But that doesn’t have to be the case, says Ken, who shows us, with a few examples, how use ArcGIS Pro to create interactive maps using a conical projection.
Meanwhile, Mark Gargul writes in response to Ken’s critique of his cartogram of the election results. Mark describes himself as an amateur and readily admits that other cartograms are “clearly more aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, I was going for something different with my cartogram—specifically, to try to preserve riding-adjacency as much as possible.”
… On the other hand, what I was going for was preserving, to the extent possible, riding adjacency. If Markham-Stouffville shared a border with Markham-Unionville on a real map, I wanted that border on the cartogram. Hence, the ugliness.
— Mark Gargul (@GargulMark) October 26, 2019
The other thing Mark was going for in his cartogram was to indicate the urban-rural split: metropolitan areas are given a black border: it’s easy to see which ridings are in Montreal or Toronto; seats that are partially urban and partially rural straddle those borders.
I'll summarize for you guys what I let Ken know in more detail: I wasn't going for pretty, but I was going for illustrating the rural-urban split, which doesn't come across well in the other cartograms or maps I have seen
— Mark Gargul (@GargulMark) October 26, 2019
So it’s doing several things at once that may not be immediately apparent.
Update on mapping #CanadaElection2019 by me & @williamscraigm. Data errors fixed. Value-by-Alpha Unique Values, Prop Symbol (both modified by pop density), Dot density (winners), Dot density (all parties >1%). 1 dot=100 votes. Screen grabs. #NotMercator pic.twitter.com/MJbIRRGqsw
— Kenneth Field (@kennethfield) October 23, 2019
I hit “Publish” too soon last night. Kenneth Field and Craig Williams put together a series of maps showing the Canadian election results in a number of different ways: we have a value-by-alpha map, a proportional symbol map, and two kinds of dot density maps: one showing the winners, one showing all votes per constituency. (One dot equals 100 votes; the dots are spread evenly across constituencies, even when people aren’t. You can’t have everything.) And it’s on the Lambert, not the Mercator.
Speaking of the Mercator. Maps Mania’s roundup of Canadian election results maps notes that the Canadian media’s interactive maps (e.g. CBC, Global, Globe and Mail) invariably resorted to Web Mercator, largely because of the mapping platform used. (In-house infographics team? Don’t be ridiculous.) Web Mercator is singularly bad for Canadian election maps, because Nunavut: it’s the largest electoral district by area (1.9 million km2) and the smallest by population (31,906). It’s enough of a distortion on the Lambert: Mercator makes it worse.
As for cartograms, Ken hated the one I posted last night; Keir points to Luke Andrews’s Electoral Cartogram of Canada, which is a bit nicer, and uses only one hexagon per riding instead of seven. Keir also points to this animation that shifts between a geographical map and a cartogram. It’s hard to recognize Canada in cartograms, because it’s difficult for us to grasp just how many people live in southern Ontario.
Previously: A Cartogram of Canada’s Election Results.
Dissatisfied with county-level results maps for the 2019 European parliament elections in Romania, Raluca Nicola built an interactive map that displays the results at the commune level. She explains how she built it here.
This cartogram shows the seat-by-seat results of the federal election held last Monday in Canada. It was uploaded to Wikipedia by user Mark Gargul to illustrate the 2019 Canadian federal election article, and it’s a welcome departure from the usual election results maps in this country.
(An example of the usual results map is Elections Canada’s official map of the unofficial results, in PDF format.)
Canadian election results maps generally use geographic maps, usually the Lambert conformal conic projection that most maps of Canada use (though sometimes it’s the Mercator!) rather than cartograms. Which means that Canadian maps suffer from the same “empty land doesn’t vote” problem that U.S. maps have, though it’s mitigated by the fact that vast rural and northern seats are often won by different parties: you don’t have the same sea of one colour that you get in the States.
That said, Canada is overwhelmingly urban, and so are its electoral districts. Most election results maps resort to using multiple inset maps to show the urban results. (Elections Canada’s map has 29 of them.) Gargul’s cartogram sidesteps both problems neatly; on the other hand, it’s next to impossible to find your own damn constituency (it’s hidden in the mouseover text). If the disadvantage of empty-land election results maps is that the colours aren’t representative, their advantage is that you can tell what regions voted for whom, at least if you know your geography.
If you’re interested in election results maps from around the world, you really ought to be following Maps Mania, where Keir provides first-rate coverage. Case in point, his post about maps of the recent elections to India’s Lok Sabha, its lower house of parliament, which points to interactive maps from The Indian Express and Reuters (also The Financial Times, but that’s behind a paywall).
In April amateur cartographer Philip Kearney created “United States of Apathy,” a map that imagined the 2016 U.S. presidential election results if nonvoters were counted as a vote for “nobody,” in which case “nobody” would have won the electoral college by a landslide. Esri cartographer Jim Herries recently collaborated with Kearney on an interactive version that explores the phenomenon of apathetic voters in more depth. [CityLab]
The web comic xkcd has done maps before (and I’ve covered most of them) but Friday’s iteration was a departure all the same: an interactive map of the challengers in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections: the larger the candidate’s name, the more significant the office and the better their odds of winning. Remember, these are only the challengers: no incumbents are listed.