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Week 12 The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
11-12-2014, 11:09 PM (This post was last modified: 11-16-2014 09:49 PM by shaoyuspace.)
Post: #1
Week 12 The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
Week 12
The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
Here is a map that can help to building a path to victory for electoral.
http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/ratings/electoral-map and choose next button.

[Image: electoral-exp.png]

the map shows all states using the different small cycles. And the cycle size depend on the electoral votes. For example, CA has 55 electoral votes. And it size is the biggest. Obama and Romney both has one cycle that can keep different the state cycles. The two people’s electoral votes that are calculate by the state cycles on the people’s cycle. User can drag the state cycles between two Obama’s cycle and Romney’s cycle. And the electoral can be changed if the state drag in or drag out people’s cycles. The visualization also use different colors on the states. The different colors means solid Obama, leaning Obama, tossup, leaning Romney, and solid Romney.
Things I like:
I like the state size depend on the electoral votes. It is can show the state’s electoral votes significance.
I like the use the color key show the state’s prediction. It can help user estimate the electoral votes.
I like the state cycle can drag. It is good interaction.
Things need to improve:
I think the candidate’s cycle size needs depend on the electoral votes. It can be look better.
I think below need list more pervious electoral information. It can help user know the state’s pervious electoral votes.
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11-15-2014, 08:00 PM
Post: #2
RE: Week 12 The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
How did you get to the map? The link you provide is not taking me to the visualization you described and I do not see anything that looks like it will take me to what you are describing.
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11-16-2014, 08:04 PM
Post: #3
RE: Week 12 The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
The link is: http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/ratings/electoral-map
Just press next (top left) and then the bubbles will pop up.

I agree with most of the critique by shaoyuspace. The size variation is nice and the color encoding is a good way to show the state's predicted votes. The interaction with dragging is a great way to be able to play with how the votes tally. I don't think that making the candidate's circle size depend on the number of votes would be very helpful, visually. If you hover over each circle then the states political orientation is shown, so I think the second point to improve is already there.

Overall, I think that this is a useful visualization.
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11-16-2014, 09:47 PM
Post: #4
RE: Week 12 The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
(11-15-2014 08:00 PM)u0788158 Wrote:  How did you get to the map? The link you provide is not taking me to the visualization you described and I do not see anything that looks like it will take me to what you are describing.

http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/ratings/electoral-map the link is this one. and choose the next
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11-17-2014, 04:20 AM
Post: #5
RE: Week 12 The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
I agree with the critique in general, though I also agree with Nicki - I am not convinced a variable area circle for each candidate would be so useful - the total numbers are already calculated at the top, and much more intuitively understandable as labels than as areas.

With that said, I actually really like this visualization. I think that evaluating different assignments of items mentally is a difficult task - it is really hard to categorize things multiple ways in your mind and compare those configurations, both because it is difficult to calculate the aggregate score, but also because it is difficult to remember the configurations in the first place.

This visualization allows you to try different assignments to really get a feel for what might be possible. More generally than just in the context of elections, I think this type of visualization really aides the human side of searches. It can be hard to parameterize things sometimes (or parameters might be within the margin of error), and a tool that assists a human in exploring a search space like this seems really helpful.

It kind of surprised me how much I liked this visualization, because it is so simple. But I just think it does an excellent job at what it was intended for.

One critique I might add about this visualization is that they allow the state circles to overlap. This makes it hard to assess their size, as well as difficult to locate a particular state.
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11-17-2014, 08:31 AM
Post: #6
RE: Week 12 The Electoral Map: Building a Path to Victory
I think your critique is very good. I liked the drag-and-drop interaction with the circles. I especially like that all of the circles were interactive. This allows you to explore options like a Republican-leaning state voting Democrat (or vice-versa).
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