Messing with the Map; Graphics Geography and the 2012 Election


Global Issues in Design and Visually in the 21st Century

Aubrey D’Agnolo

Section: Barbra Adams

Global Now: Abstract

Headline:  Election graphics show how Obama won

Date: 11/15 /2012h                                              

Source: Yahoo! News


This article contains a slide show of maps which show how different populations in regions of North America voted in the 2012 election. Using the traditional colors of red for Republican, Romney voters and Democratic Obama voters. Some of these maps are not so traditional in the inflated shapes the states take on when we look at population size vs. size of the state. These maps are a very interesting distortion of geography, especially when we begin to think about how iconic the “shape” of North America can be. The website I found these maps on (don’t be afraid of the very long link and please check out the maps) calls them “cool tools” but looking at this stretched and manipulated geography I see much more. We’ve talked a lot about visualizing information and transforming data into graphs during our class time. Does this population study superimposed onto our geographic identity really help us to understand information?   The correct map which accurately depicts how the president is elected is the one which stretches the states to form their relative influence in the Electoral College this is the map “3 /8”.   These states with high populations have more representatives who vote based on the popular preference of their region. These maps reveal how confusing our election system can be but also helped me to understand how population density can be attributed to the confusion. Visually these maps alter the viewer’s perception of what is a strongly fixated shape and display the interesting relationship between geography and population.



Global Issue: Leadership and Politics

Primary Design Lens: Charts and Data

Secondary Design Lens: Geography and Population

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