Saturday, July 15, 2017

20 Ways to Map an Election

Donald Trump, according to the New York Times, keeps a collection of printed election maps in the dining room next to the Oval Office. He likes to hand out copies of this election maps to White House visitors when they leave. President Trump's election map is a choropleth map, which shows all the counties of the United States colored by the party which won the 2016 election. Donald Trump likes this map so much that he also hung a large version of the map from a wall in the West Wing.

Any huge fan of election maps like the POTUS will love Esri's collection of election maps, Thematic Mapping. Thematic Mapping is a collection of 2012 Presidential Election maps, providing examples of a range of different thematic mapping approaches that can be used to map election results.

President Trump likes his choropleth map so much because it shows a majority of the country colored red. Even though Hilary Clinton won the popular vote Trump won the most counties. A choropleth map is therefore good at showing how Trump won the election but isn't necessarily a great way to show the percentage of votes each candidate won.

There are many other ways to map election results. Esri's Thematic Mapping collection includes choropleth maps, dasymetric dot density, cartograms, isopleth contours, proportional symbols, proportional text and other thematic approaches to election mapping. Hopefully President Trump will see Thematic Mapping and hang an example map of each of these thematic approaches to the 2016 Presidential election to the walls of the West Wing.

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