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Hyperlocal Election Mapping
Made Easy
Timothy Goddard, Depiction, Inc.
Election Results by Precinct
+ Precinct maps _
Election Maps
• Finding the data
• Preparing the data
• Merging the data
• Colorizing the data
• Finding the data
• Preparing the data
• Merging the data
• Colorizing the data
Using Depiction
What is Depiction?
• Mapping, Simulation & Collaboration
Software
• Bringing expert-level capabilities (like
election mapp...
• Finding the data
–This is the hard part!
–Two data types:
•Map/GIS Data
•Election Results
Finding the Data
• Map/GIS Data
– “Precincts” or “Voting Districts”
– Accessible at the Statewide or County level
– Shapef...
• Statewide:
• County:
Finding the Data
• Election data
– Precinct level results
– From different agencies
• Statewide
– Secretary of state, boar...
• Preparing the data
–Turn it into a spreadsheet
–Save it as CSV
–Different types take different
methods
Preparing Data
• Election Result Data Types
– Spreadsheets
• These are great & easy!
Preparing Data
• Election Result Data Types
– Delimited
– Paste into Excel
– ‘Text to Columns’
Semicolon:
Preparing Data
• Election Result Data Types
– HTML Tables
• Easiest tool: TableTools extension for FireFox
• Copy as tab-
...
Preparing Data
• Election Result Data Types
– More difficult types
• Straight Text
• Multiple HTML Tables
– Copy/Paste the...
• Slicing & Dicing
– Filtering
• To separate out columns
• Paste into new sheet
• Slicing & Dicing
– Search & Replace
• To remove extraneous information
• Slicing & Dicing
– Text to Columns
• To split off extraneous information
that isn’t all identical
• Slicing & Dicing
– Do this column by column to build your
spreadsheet
• Keep everything in its original order!
• If nece...
Preparing Data
• Preparing GIS Data
– Create a new Depiction file
– Set the area you want
– Import the Shapefile into Depi...
• Finishing election data preparation
– Be sure to include the precinct number or other
unique identifier as a column
– Na...
• Add vote percentage columns
– Add a column for the one candidate percentages.
– Add a formula that calculates the percen...
• Preparing GIS Data
– Find the unique precinct identifier field that
matches your voting data
• “PRECINCTNUM”,“NUMBER” “N...
• Preparing GIS Data
– Open the GML in a text editor
– Search & replace the precinct field name with EID
– Also remove
the...
Merging the Data
• Import the CSV
– Just drag, drop, and click ‘import’
Merging the data
• Wait for the import to complete
– As long as your EIDs match up correctly, the new data
should be appen...
Colorizing the Data
• Click “Colorize”
• Select “thematic mapping”
• Choose one of the percent
fields as the property valu...
Tada!
Allegheny Co,
Pennsylvania
2010 Senate
Election
Tips & Tricks
• Be sure your precinct data is up to date
• Be patient when dealing with hundreds or
thousands of precincts...
For more information:
www.depiction.com
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Hyperlocal Election Mapping Made Easy

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Previously, only a select few experts who have been able to take raw election returns and turn them into useful maps that show key trends and patterns on the "hyperlocal" level. However, Depiction mapping software enables anyone to, with relative ease and at trivial cost, create powerful interactive election maps, and much more.

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Transcript of "Hyperlocal Election Mapping Made Easy"

  1. 1. Hyperlocal Election Mapping Made Easy Timothy Goddard, Depiction, Inc.
  2. 2. Election Results by Precinct + Precinct maps _ Election Maps
  3. 3. • Finding the data • Preparing the data • Merging the data • Colorizing the data
  4. 4. • Finding the data • Preparing the data • Merging the data • Colorizing the data Using Depiction
  5. 5. What is Depiction? • Mapping, Simulation & Collaboration Software • Bringing expert-level capabilities (like election mapping) to everyday people • Used in emergency management, real estate, small business and more.
  6. 6. • Finding the data –This is the hard part! –Two data types: •Map/GIS Data •Election Results
  7. 7. Finding the Data • Map/GIS Data – “Precincts” or “Voting Districts” – Accessible at the Statewide or County level – Shapefile format – If not available online, try calling
  8. 8. • Statewide: • County:
  9. 9. Finding the Data • Election data – Precinct level results – From different agencies • Statewide – Secretary of state, board of elections • County level – Auditor, clerk, registrar, elections division – Usually not in a spreadsheet format • Which it needs to be! • Best option—call & ask for a spreadsheet or similar document
  10. 10. • Preparing the data –Turn it into a spreadsheet –Save it as CSV –Different types take different methods
  11. 11. Preparing Data • Election Result Data Types – Spreadsheets • These are great & easy!
  12. 12. Preparing Data • Election Result Data Types – Delimited – Paste into Excel – ‘Text to Columns’ Semicolon:
  13. 13. Preparing Data • Election Result Data Types – HTML Tables • Easiest tool: TableTools extension for FireFox • Copy as tab- delimited text • Paste into Excel
  14. 14. Preparing Data • Election Result Data Types – More difficult types • Straight Text • Multiple HTML Tables – Copy/Paste the whole thing into Excel – “Slice & Dice” the data
  15. 15. • Slicing & Dicing – Filtering • To separate out columns • Paste into new sheet
  16. 16. • Slicing & Dicing – Search & Replace • To remove extraneous information
  17. 17. • Slicing & Dicing – Text to Columns • To split off extraneous information that isn’t all identical
  18. 18. • Slicing & Dicing – Do this column by column to build your spreadsheet • Keep everything in its original order! • If necessary, split the precinct number into its own column
  19. 19. Preparing Data • Preparing GIS Data – Create a new Depiction file – Set the area you want – Import the Shapefile into Depiction • (just drag & drop!)
  20. 20. • Finishing election data preparation – Be sure to include the precinct number or other unique identifier as a column – Name the unique identifier column “EID” – The EID, or ‘Element ID’ is what will match the precinct shapes to the election information.
  21. 21. • Add vote percentage columns – Add a column for the one candidate percentages. – Add a formula that calculates the percentage— something like: =B2/(B2+C2) – ‘Fill down’ the entire column – Do the same for the second candidate. Something like: =C2/(B2+C2) – Set the decimal places to desired number (2-4, probably) – Save as CSV and close it.
  22. 22. • Preparing GIS Data – Find the unique precinct identifier field that matches your voting data • “PRECINCTNUM”,“NUMBER” “Name,” etc • Export it all to GML • Delete the elements
  23. 23. • Preparing GIS Data – Open the GML in a text editor – Search & replace the precinct field name with EID – Also remove the “description” field – Save the GML delete the .xsd file – Import the GML back into Depiction.
  24. 24. Merging the Data • Import the CSV – Just drag, drop, and click ‘import’
  25. 25. Merging the data • Wait for the import to complete – As long as your EIDs match up correctly, the new data should be appended to the precinct elements. – An alert will say nothing was imported, because no new elements were added. – But new fields should be present
  26. 26. Colorizing the Data • Click “Colorize” • Select “thematic mapping” • Choose one of the percent fields as the property value. • Set the colors, click OK. • You can also use a “Manual range selection” – 0 – 1 for absolute coloring – .499 - .501 for binary “red/blue” coloring – .25 - .75 for more distinct absolute coloring
  27. 27. Tada! Allegheny Co, Pennsylvania 2010 Senate Election
  28. 28. Tips & Tricks • Be sure your precinct data is up to date • Be patient when dealing with hundreds or thousands of precincts • Do spot checks to be sure your data is correct – Between original election data & final CSV – Between original election data & final depiction • Set hovertext for the precincts to name and both candidate percentages & total votes • To compare multiple elections, delete the EID field, re-import the GML and repeat merge w/ new data
  29. 29. For more information: www.depiction.com
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