I don’t fault any of the designers of these maps for producing straightforward and relatively unambitious solutions. Sometimes, the most obvious answer is the most appropriate, and if nothing else, these are attractive designs that I genuinely like. Still, none of these achieve that perfect balance between functionality, ease-of-use and content. Probably, it would have been a good idea for me to hunt around some lesser-known outlets to ferret out some real information design gems — there must be some out there — but I was too busy hitting the Refresh button. And cringing.
This one is my favorite, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. The slight perspective adds a touch of class, and they still manage to point directly to all of the smaller states in the northeast. I think the roll-over flag is super-sharp. The design handles zooming and panning a bit clumsily, but not as badly as some others.
Though very slow in calling states for one candidate or the other last night, this map benefits from the Times’ high standards for information design. It just looks no-nonsense and definitive, what with all that data flashing about everywhere as you roll your mouse over the states.
The Times gets some bonus points for including a prominent link that allows users to see the electoral value of each state, rather than the just traditional geographic view. This is a heartening mode for losers like me: the conventional geographic view always makes the advantage of the so-called red states seem tremendous and insurmountable compared to the spatially paltry blue states. Looking at the country according to who possesses electoral votes reminds us that almost half of the population voted for Senator Kerry. All hope is not lost.
Not the prettiest by any means, but deserving of a special mention for consistently providing an interesting visual representation of polling data in all the months leading up to Election Day. A look through this site’s archives is an invaluable tour through the recent history of political strife this election season.
The BBC had a great one – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/americas/04/vote_usa/map/html/default.stm. A notification window popped up every time there was fresh data, and when a state had something new happen it started flashing. Zooming in on a state for more detail was nice and simple, and everything just fit together nicely.
My only complaint was that once a state started flashing, there was no way of turning it off short of zooming in on it. After leaving the window open for an hour, half the country was lit up and I had to refresh the page to clear the recent memory. Other than that though, it was the clear winner to me.
That map is cool (for some reason, the link doesn’t work even though it’s correct). It’s very nerdy, very much like a little desktop app. It’s interesting how the BBC would go that way for their map, while the news outlets in the state go with much more minimal functionality.
The most accurate visual representation of the 2004 popular vote:
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