The New York Times released a data story comparing “Trump America” and “Clinton America”.  The two maps show the land area won by Trump on the first map and the land area won by Clinton on the second.

While the concept of these two maps are interesting and important to the results of the election, I think that this data could have been portrayed better.  The maps are the same with one minor difference: the space that is left out.  The first map shows the land area Trump won, with the land area Clinton won being cut out.  The Clinton map is just the reverse of this.  This seems relatively clear.  With the exception of places where third party candidates won, if Trump didn’t win somewhere, then Clinton did.  

Though the point was to show two Americas, I think this map could have been made its point more effectively had it just been one map that used two different colors: one for Trump and one for Clinton.  The other way in which it could have made sense would be if they had taken the land area Trump won and made it into a shape, like a circle, and compared it to the area Clinton won in the same shape.  The way the data is portrayed right now simply does not show the data in the best manner possible.

What I did like about this data story was the data it gave at the end.  It compared Trump and Clinton in land area won, population won and popular vote won.  This was nice information to have since it shows the wide range.  While Trump won 85% of the land area, Clinton won in both of the other categories with 54% of the population vote and 50.4% of the popular vote.  I think it would have been interesting to use a map or other form of visualization technique to display how Trump and Clinton compared in these two categories.  

I also wish that the map allowed for more interaction for readers.  Perhaps when the user scrolled over the map it could say the county or percentages; something along those lines would allow for more engagement and exploration.

Overall, the idea behind this data story is good.  However, the problem with it is that it the maps do not seem to serve a good enough purpose the way that they are designed now.  The story claims that it “took the election results and created two new imaginary nations”.  The problem with this is that they really aren’t two new nations, they look more like a combination of sporadic islands and masses of land.

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