Posts tagged election
Yesterday’s webinar also sparked the idea to turn the election mapping process into a PowerPoint presentation:
The process itself is fairly easy–the hard part is tracking down the GIS data and election results, and the even harder part is dealing with election results that aren’t put into a ‘machine readable format’ like a spreadsheet. Some states & counties do that for your, others don’t–if they don’t it might be easier to go directly to the government agency responsible and see if they can get you a spreadsheet. If not, though, the majority of the presentation deals with tracking down, then slicing and dicing the data so that you can merge it with the GIS data. The actual merging and colorizing of the data–what Depiction does–is really very easy.
And that part is applicable to any number of tasks–any time you need to merge data with map data such as shapefiles. If you aren’t interested in the election stuff, the information starting on slide 20 may still be valuable.
And fresh from yesterday, Hyperlocal Election Mapping Made Easy with yours truly.http://www.depiction.com/files/videos/112310HyperlocalElectionMapsMadeEasy.flv
This month’s historic election gave the Republican party a larger gain than any single party has seen since the 1940’s, but that broad, national trend was made up of many decisions made at the smallest possible level–the level of the individual. Now, Depiction can’t really map things quite down to that level, (there’s a thing called a secret ballot), Depiction can help you do the next best thing, and create “hyperlocal” election maps at the precinct level.
This week’s Depiction of the Week is one such map. Possibly the biggest single surprise in the election outcome was the result in Minnesota’s 8th District, in the northeast part of the state along Lake Superior. After representing the district since 1974, Democrat Jim Oberstar lost to Republican Chip Cravaack. This depiction shows the precinct level results in St. Louis County, which is where Duluth, the largest city in the district, is located.
I’ll be doing a webinar on Tuesday, November 23, “Hyperlocal Election Maps Made Easy” showing how you can create depictions like this one–and even more complex ones–very easily. If this is the sort of thing you’re interested in, I hope to see you there!
And once you’ve built them, of course, Depiction lets you combine them with all kinds of maps, data and images, whether publicly available or your own proprietary information. Want to see what voting patterns look like based on proximity to schools or other points of interest? No problem. You can even overlay them with scanned paper maps or routes, and much more.
Minnesota has some particularly good resources for building election depictions. Shapefiles of districts, precincts and even election results can be accessed here. Up-to-date election results can be accessed here in semicolon-delimited format. You can convert these into spreadsheets pretty easily using Excel.
To view this depiction, download the Depiction Free Reader .