The maps you saw on election night probably just showed a United States filled with either blue or red states, for Democrat or Republican.
The electoral map is of course far more complicated, and interesting; and the visualization above shows a more creative way to view voter data.
The visualization was built by Robert J. Vanderbei, a mathematician at Princeton, using publically available election data. It shows the proportion of people who voted Democrat or Republican for each county as a gradient between blue and red; and the number of voters in each county is shown by the height of the horizontal bars. You can explore the visualization in more detail by viewing the full 3-D WebGL file on Vanderbei’s site (warning: 55MB!).
Mark Newman, from the Department of Physics and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan, has visualized the population differences across voting maps in a slightly different way: by distorting the size of each county to reflect its population—creating a kind of map known as a cartogram.
Both visualizations provide a more nuanced picture of election night. And they show that the country isn’t quite as divided, along state lines, as some other maps suggest.
Vanderbei says he was inspired to start building voting visualizations in 2000, after seeing maps showing counties across the U.S. as simply blue or red. “I live in a county that’s 48 percent-52 percent,” he says. “I might like to know if it’s 48 percent Democratic or Republican. Or maybe not. We’re all basically a little bit purple.”
These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems
They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.
Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient
The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.
Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?
The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.
We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.
Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.