Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration

BBC News Election Map

November 6th, 2012

In this video, Emily Maitlis explains the history of elections in the United Kingdom via an amazingly intuitive map interface which happens to be displayed on a very large screen in a vertical orientation. The screen is oriented to match the geographic orientation. Genius? No. But would you have thought of it?

Also of great interest are the four large circular icons that she presses to change the map from one type to another. Time and again we see that users will click on large icons like those to switch map layers more readily than they will click check boxes on and off in more traditional layer switchers.

On the bottom of the screen is a timeline that the map user can also change. An excellent incorporation of an interactive fourth dimension.

Creating an equal-area map out of hexagons as an alternative to a simple choropleth of regions allows the map reader to focus on the population-weighted statistics rather than the area-weighted statistics since, in this case, the map data are population oriented, not area oriented (aka Modifiable Areal Unit Problem).

The whole thing, including Emily’s useful narrative, is amazing. Hat tip: @briantimoney.

Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration