Maps Are Fun

I apologize for Kevin's website. As I was viewing this page the formatting was totally screwed up and the content was about 8 pages down. I think it got fixed, though. Anyway, he brings up an interesting point. Maps can be fun! For instance, let's look at how someone from Michael Moore's website saw the US, post election:

Humorous, I know, though I'd prefer the bottom be "The United States of 'Our Shit Don't Stink.'" Anyway, Kevin's response was that Mr. Moore should probably have looked at the following map, of how the election played out, county by county:

This paints a rather grim image, assuming any Democrat would be stupid enough to take what some idiot like Kevin McCullough has to say without researching it. Unfortunately, I'm not an idiot, so I did my research. Here's a page with some interesting maps as well. Seems some guys at the University of Michigan did some cartograms, "a map in which the sizes of states have been rescaled according to their population," with the election results. Here's the first one:

NOTE: If you can't view the picture above, your browser is likely to suck. I suggest downloading Mozilla Firefox version 1.0. Take the internet back from Microsoft.

Anyway, that makes the map look nicer, but there's more to see. Cartograms can be used in many ways. For instance, what if we made a cartogram out of Kevin's cited image, stretching the individual counties to their residence size? Seems we'd get something like this:

Even better, let's make a map that isn't so black and white. Perhaps not all counties are red or blue? Perhaps we'd like to add in a shade indicator, stating whether they were staunchly Republican, Democrat or somewhere in between:

Looks a hell of a lot bluer, if you ask me. This is a lot closer to the actual election result, with Bush getting a minor majority, if anything. But, again, let's use a cartogram on the map and see how red it gets:

If this somehow seems unfair, they even made a map using linear colors. "These maps use a color scale that ranges from red for 70% Republican or more, to blue for 70% Democrat or more. This is sort of practical, since there aren't many counties outside that range anyway, but to some extent it also obscures the true balance of red and blue."

The cartogram:

Not looking so hot anymore, is it Kevin?
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