Baltimore 2011 Mayoral Election Pseudo Dot Map


This map was created as an experiment in working with pseudo dot maps. Results from past elections are provided by the City of Baltimore. At a glance, the information contained in these records is not exceedingly useful. The data is contained within a collection of PDF documents and consists of votes counted for each candidate within each jurisdiction. This format is unfortunately not particularly useful for anything other than record keeping.

In an attempt to visualize the data, I extracted the data from the PDFs using Tabula and combined the vote counts with voting precinct geometry provided through Baltimore's Open Data website. At this point I had enough data to generate a nice choropleth map of voter activity. However, inspired by the racial dot map, I thought I would try displaying the data in a different format.

Using QGIS open geographic information system software, I set about to produce a pseudo dot map. Essentially, within each precinct, a dot was placed randomly for each tallied vote. This approach represents the data in a more literal and explicit format than a choropleth would. Additionally, artificial jurisdictional boundaries become blurred and geographical patterns of voter preference are more readily apparent.