Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Geography Awareness Week: Election Coverage

This week we'll be celebrating Geography Awareness Week by highlighting unique spatial visualizations of data.

The 2012 election was marked by punditry, partisanship, and polling. But the election also allowed geo-spatial patterns a moment in the 24-hour news cycle spotlight.

Here are few striking visualizations from the election coverage:
Dr. Vanderbei at Princeton looks at changing patterns in party preference in presidential elections since the 1960s. Blue represents Democrat counties, red represents Republican, and green is all other.
Election results in 2012
Image source

Similarly stunning are the New York Times interactive graphics of the election results, which represent factors ranging from the size of each candidate's lead to the shift in votes between 2008 and 2012.

Taking the visualizations in a different direction, the population weighted cartograms published at the University of Michigan are pretty neat. They show a nation much less divided than the to-scale red-state/blue-state maps do.

Sadly, a flurry of racist tweets greeted the election results. The southeast had the highest proportion of racist tweets as a share of overall tweets on election night, as measured using a location quotient ratio.
Image source

So we have evidence that the United States is a very divided nation...
... or is it?
Image source

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