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Monday, July 24, 2006

My Map

I was so excited to find this map from the New York Times. This is the first interactive map that I have seen from a news source that mimics the GIS which we are learning to use. The “interactive” maps that are typically found on websites such as the NYTimes.com and CNN.com allow you click on states or regions and find out more information than a simple label provides but this map allows you to do so much more! One of my favorite functions of the map is where you can change the view from “State View” to “Population View”. While relative state populations may not provide as insightful in a state election, I feel this function will provide particularly useful come the next federal election. It is also interest to see the voting distict break down for the house of representatives.

Another function of the map that I really like is the question marks in the circles next to some of the statements made on the map. When you click on the question mark you get a qualifier for the statement previously made. For example, next to the layer for “Races to watch” qualifier states, “Races to watch are the crucial contests in this election as decided by the New York Times.” It seems like almost anytime I wanted to say, “Says who?” to the map, an answer was already provided for me.

A third part of the map that I really like is the state by information provided for each state. Not only does the NYTimes give the results of their own research, but they also include local research done on the outcome of the November elections. For Wisconsin, they use polls done by the Capital, for Rhode Island they cite polls done by Brown University and for Florida they give information from two polls done by Qunnipiac University at different point leading up to the election.

In general, I really enjoy the ways that you can manipulate these maps to show the exact information that you are looking for as well as its transparency regarding sources. Also, before finding this, the only other map I could find to post about was Gawker Stalker and really, we should be learning more than how to stalk celebrities with our mapping skills.

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