Showing my age a bit I know, but my first real exposure with web mapping was supporting the use of Autodesk’s then revolutionary MapGuide software for the 1997 General Election on the UK.
Web Mapping was young then.. a bit like Tony Blair !
Over the next few months people will be rushing to their shiny new web tools to visualise the election on May 7th, but have we really moved on in our efforts to explain the geographic distribution of results..
You are likely to see maps like this ..
Which are highly misleading as the electoral system in the UK is not based on the area of parliamentary constituencies which is a key feature of this map! For a well argued criticism of choropleth mapping like this in elections, take a look Ken’s excellent blog post on the subject from a few years ago.
With this as motivation I’m pleased to announce that Google is sponsoring a special prize at this years British Cartography Society awards for the “Best Election Map”, hopefully we will see some innovative approaches that go beyond the choropleth!