Monday, October 23, 2006

Purple America, 1960-2004

Princeton University professor Robert Vanderbei invented the use of gradients to show the mix of party voting in single reporting districts after the intensely-contested 2000 election. Others did some nice graphic work with it after the not-so-intensely-contested 2004 election, and may have developed it independently; the idea seemed to be in the air in that year. (Disclosure: I went to high school with Jeff Culver, who received a lot of publicity for one of these 2004 maps.)

Vanderbei emailed me this morning to show off an animation he just created that shows step-by-step shifts in the results from the 1960 through 2004 elections. The graphic above is a static screen capture of just one region of this dense and fantastically data-rich map. Visit his website yourself to see postwar American political history unfold before your eyes, and zoom in on regions of interest to examine what went right or wrong, and when, depending on your perspective.

No comments: