Mapmaker, Mapmaker, make me a Map

  • Posted on: 8 November 2022
  • By: deby
Image by Jeff Hinchee

It seems only fitting to post this message on the day that the USA goes to vote for the mid-term elections.  Which by either party has been labelled as probably the most important elections in the century.  Indeed, the Democrats claim that the very existence of democracy is at stake today.

See my January post on gerry-mandering, this ugly phenomenon of redrawing the district boundaries to take advantage of uneven spatial distribution of voters, and on how a democracy-by-name can really be a not-a-democracy-at-all.

Today I suggest you listen to a podcast episode of the famous This American Life, which just came out and presents the intriguing story of Ohio's election maps, a new law about it, the involvement of professional mapmakers and how it got implemented.  It's tight, it's ugly, and it's revealing.

This is a must-listen to anyone with an interest in map making and politics.


I better add here the link to that episode:

Gerrymandering taken into a data science approach

  • Posted on: 4 January 2022
  • By: deby

Best wishes for 2022 to all!

If you have an interest in (American) politics and maps, you will certainly know what is gerrymandering.  For those who don not: it is the redrawing of census/voting district boundaries for reasons of benefiting your own political party in future election outcomes.  The Republicans are known for it, but the Democrats do it as well sometimes.  It is a long-term battleground, and usually they become court cases.

A group of Minnesotan scientists have now designed a method of district mapping based principally on the rules that the Minnesota Supreme Court has published.  Read the journal article, which is of interest.  This will also tell you what is the Pareto Principle when handling multiple criteria.

Star Tribune article