Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Canadian Election Maps - The Good, Bad and Ugly

I hesitate to criticize another country's election maps but come on! This is Canada - you people invented GIS! I'll start with the ugly and work my way over to the good so I end on a positive note.

Here is the National Post's interactive map.
Granted, this is interactive so you can zoom in as needed but still the emphasis on Canada's Arctic waters in the default view makes the smaller places (where almost everyone lives) hard to see. Also, it's ugly, and the Mercator projection makes it uglier and harder to read. Finally, being a conservative paper, all that red must be making their eyes water. Their non-interactive maps are much better (see further below)

BAD: Here is a cartogram from The Star.
 This is a cartogram? So the liberals won the north of every province and the conservatives the south? Compare British Columbia with the interactive version.
The cartogram is interactive. Click a dot and you will see that there is no relationship between its position on the diagram and its geographical location resulting in misleading information. If the goal is simply comparing numbers then the Globe and Mail version is the way to go.
When you click on the cells above, the map takes you to that individual Riding (I love that term!) Also, they have a nice list of key Ridings underneath their interactive info.
This map also came from the Globe and Mail - nicer looking, better projection and it includes St Albert among the important cities - what???

On the good side of things the National Post has this excellent graphic that lets you compare the vote from the last three elections.

I like the detailed city maps - except they forgot St Albert!

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