Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Improving the Tiled Grid Map

In the last UK general election the biggest winner in data visualization techniques was the tiled grid map. The NPR Visuals Team has written a good explanation of why (and where) the tiled grid map is a good option for visualizing geographical data.

Recently there has been some interesting developments in tiled grid maps - specifically in using individual grids to visualize historical data. For example, after the Scottish Election in May, The Guardian used Sankey diagrams in each tiled grid to show the historical percentage of votes by each political party over previous elections in each electoral district.

Esri has also been experimenting with using different types of charts and graphs within individual tiled map grids to visualize U.S. election history data. US Election History is an interactive tiled grid map which visualizes the historical voting pattern of each state in a number of different ways.

My favorite view in this tiled grid map is the Waffle Grid, which presents the historical election data in each state with a series of small colored squares. Each square is colored red or blue to show how the state voted in previous US elections.

This waffle grid view provides a neat and simple visualization of the historical political tendency of each state. With the most recent election results shown at the top and the oldest elections at the bottom of each square it is also very easy to read the most recent historical voting tendency in each state.
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