Friday 26 February 2021

A super-simplified US election map

I admit that the world needs no more election maps, so I'll keep this brief.

I've been experimenting with animations and different kinds of data for my current series of QGIS training sessions so I'm always looking for interesting data to use. The coming week I'm doing a short course on animated maps so I thought I'd use the US county-level election results (lower 48 states only) to create a super-simplified map. The spikes are sized by total population in each county (e.g. you can see Los Angeles county to the west as the big spike) and they're coloured red for the GOP and blue for the Democratic Party. I've done some gifs and some still images and posted them below.

This gif will loop forever - click to enlarge

I consider this something of an experimental play thing but I think it's quite interesting so I'm posting it here. Again, just to be clear: 

  • Colour = party
  • Vertical size = total number of votes for a party, within each county 
  • Direction = animated from west to east based on the x coordinate of country centroids
  • Speed = fast, over 3,000 counties in 10 seconds
  • Purpose = a little carto/data experiment for my training sessions

Here's the mp4 version, hopefully no weird compression on here, but there often is.

Here's a still frame showing blue and red spikes side by side - a bit crowded but you get the idea.

I've added some transparency to the spikes here

Here are some still images.

Easy to spot Los Angeles County

Population centres are quite clear

Chicago stands out

As does NYC

It's a fake 3D effect

Animated by longitude

Speed appears to vary, due to density

Possibly helps highlight voter density

A one second blinking gif

Another one of my experiments

Another simple map - top ten Dem, vote count

Tools: QGIS, ffmpeg.