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Old 11-06-2004, 10:51 AM   #1
Undertoad
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11/6/2004: Visual display of the electoral divide



Is the US a horribly divided country? Should panicky Kerry voters in "red" states move to "blue" states? Not at all.

We've all seen the red-blue state depiction... ad infinitum. Fans of Tufte's work on visual display of quantitative information may enjoy the differences between that approach, and the above.

The above shows us an entirely different view of the country, but one that's more meaningful to the character of the country than the standard red-blue. The standard shows us red, if the divide is 51% red, 49% blue, and vice-versa. The above shows that divide exactly as it is.

This guy has produced the same "purple" county-by-county, too large to link here directly, but it's a beautiful thing.

Compare those maps to to this one:



This one is being used by R folks to suggest that the red-blue divide in the country is deeper than it is, and that the country is actually much more red than blue. Not the case; it's merely the wrong way to display the results. The above map tells you nothing because it biases for geographic area taken up in an election that divided urbanites against suburbanites and ruralites. The blue areas look small, but the appearance is deceiving; it's only because the people there are concentrated into a small area.

This gentleman has corrected for that problem, and produced cartograms, where the visual size of the counties is adjusted for their population size. That produces a very strange-looking graphic indeed, but it's actually more accurate in many senses than the red-blue county map.
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:15 AM   #2
jaguar
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Facinating stuff, the last maps you linked to are interesting indeed. However, I don't see what this has to do with divisions in the community.
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:33 AM   #3
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There should be a push for more maps like these to be used to show how the country voted. It shows the greys between straight up R or D. Just because one of them won a state or a community doesn't mean EVERYONE in that area voted that way. Also, these maps over time could better show how the country's tendencies shift and move. I'd love to see something like this animated with data spanning 10 or 20 years or so. These are good maps. Very good.
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Old 11-06-2004, 12:10 PM   #4
richlevy
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The funny thing about the cartogram is that it looks like a standing eagle with outstretched wings.
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:14 PM   #5
xoxoxoBruce
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Sound bites for the eyes? Eye bites?
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:40 AM   #6
richlevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
Sound bites for the eyes? Eye bites?
Actually, the process of juxtaposing charts with maps goes back at least to Charles Minard in his graphical explanation of the losses to the French army in Russia.

In the chart you see the thick band of French marching towards Moscow and the thin band of survivors limping home.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:59 AM   #7
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My History teacher in high school was also the French teacher. In addition to her bifurcated educational responsbilities, she was also the Staff weirdo. She claimed, for example, that she had worked her way through college as a prostitute, and she insisted that everyone call her Madame Schwartz...even those not taking French.

One of her favorite historical anecdotes was this: she claimed the French army lost to the Russians because they didn't know how to crap in the snow, and so froze their anuses and died from the subsequent infections.
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Old 11-07-2004, 05:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
My History teacher in high school was also the French teacher. In addition to her bifurcated educational responsbilities, she was also the Staff weirdo. She claimed, for example, that she had worked her way through college as a prostitute, and she insisted that everyone call her Madame Schwartz...even those not taking French.

One of her favorite historical anecdotes was this: she claimed the French army lost to the Russians because they didn't know how to crap in the snow, and so froze their anuses and died from the subsequent infections.

Your history teacher sounds like she was cool, and to think I was impressed with mine because of his Gengus Khan "first man to come and go at the same time" joke.

Gengus Khan supposedly died while making love..ok it was risque for a Jesuit school!
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:00 AM   #9
Karenv
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The cartograms are difficult to read. I really like the linked county by county purple map- too bad that he can't do things like very pale red for rural Oklahoma and really intense blue for New York City, so we can get a sense of the vote strength.

As it is, any graphic representation on a map will overestimate Republican strength because at this time Democrats are concentrated in the cities and cities are a LOT more dense than rural areas.
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:26 AM   #10
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the cartograms reminded me of the homunculus (hoe-munn-Q-luss), a representation of our bodies based on the number of sensory neurons in the brain for each area. Cool.
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:07 PM   #11
Silent
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Based on how much time we spend thinking about it, I'm suprised the naughty bits aren't larger....
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:07 PM   #12
wolf
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and there are a fair number of sensory neurons there too ...
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:10 PM   #13
Happy Monkey
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The homunculus representation just represents the quantity, not the quality!

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Old 11-09-2004, 10:15 AM   #14
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This one looks sorta like a fish...

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Old 11-09-2004, 12:01 PM   #15
Kitsune
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Based on how much time we spend thinking about it, I'm suprised the naughty bits aren't larger....

That's because the homunculus LabRat posted is the motor cortex representation, not the somatosensory one.
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