Making maps of Electoral Districts

As part of the work for my thesis, I have been trying to find some nice ways to visualise estimated electoral results for different units of geography (and other pieces of data on geographical areas).

The obvious and cleanest way to do this is with chloropeth maps (that is, maps with regions coloured in accordance with the data). 

Using results of the 2010 state election and a shapefile of the electoral boundaries as at the 2010 election, both supplied by the Electoral Commission of South Australia, I am able to produce figures like the one below.

 
Produced using data supplied by the Electoral Commission of South Australia.

Produced using data supplied by the Electoral Commission of South Australia.

 

This figure shows all the metropolitan electoral districts in South Australia (to include the rural districts in this figure would squeeze the metro ones far too small, and it's already very cluttered as it is), coloured according to the Two Party Preferred vote for the Liberal Party at the 2010 state election.

All districts with a 2PP Liberal vote below 50 per cent are coloured red, to ensure that all districts coloured red were won by the ALP and all districts coloured blue were one by the Liberal Party in 2010.

There are more red districts in this plot because all of the safest ALP electorates are in the metro area, whereas all of the safest Liberal electorates are in regional areas.

I can use these maps to visualise all sorts of interesting data across the state. The maps get more interesting when you zoom into collection districts within each electoral district. I'm sure I will share more of these as time goes on.

Next steps for improving these will be to find a way to 'declutter' plots with lots of boundaries in them (like the one above), and labelling interesting regions on the plots.