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Mapping the US presidential election

Some new map features and reusable examples to help you map the biggest political event of 2020

With thousands of journalist users across the globe, it’s always election season at Flourish. But the US presidential election is, well, the US presidential election, so we thought we’d mark the event with some example reusable maps to help you visualize the results. The visuals below are available from today in our template chooser, so you can easily create these with new data as the results come in.

Hex maps

Hex maps are a form of cartogram, meaning that the geography is adjusted such that regions of equal importance – e.g. by population or electoral significance – take up the same area on the map. In the case of a hex cartogram, each region is represented as one or more hexagons.

State hex map

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In this simple example each state gets one hexagon. This is a nice way to show state-level results while countering the visual imbalance created between the significantly larger Western states and the smaller but more populous Eastern ones.

Electoral college hex map

Showing state-level results doesn’t tell the whole story, however, since different states have different number of electoral college votes. Here’s a richer example where each state is represented to be a group of hexagons, each representing a single electoral college vote.

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These examples are created with our Projection Map template using special GeoJSON hex-grids generated outside of Flourish. Free free to reuse the GeoJSON (with attribution) in other Flourish templates such as our 3D map template to add effects such as extrusion or WebGL-driven smooth animation.

The example above is also a nice showcase for a new feature we just added to the Projection Map template: the ability to easily create a group outline around an arbitrary selection of regions by just pointing to a column. This is handy in all kinds of situations, e.g. to group countries into continent or counties by state.

“Normal” maps

In addition to hex map, you may also want to make use of our geographically “normal” starting points for US states, counties or congressional districts, all of which you’ll find in the template chooser.

These all use the Albers USA projection, which includes Alaska and Hawaii in close proximity to the continental states.

As with almost all Flourish templates, it’s easy to customize the popups with images and styling. As the example above shows, you can even create charts in the popups from columns in your data sheet! Head over to our help doc to grab the custom HTML code you’ll need.

This final example show Congressional Districts and shows how it’s easy to display multiple values in one map. The menu is created automatically if you point to more than one column to shade by.

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Lots (and lots) more ways to visualize the election

The examples above only scratch the surface of what you can do with maps and election data, and maps only scratch the surface of what you can do with visualizations more generally. From line, beeswarm and parliament charts to filterable cards and searchable tables, there are countless ways to visualize the election using Flourish. Want more inspiration? Read on. In any case, enjoy election night!