In the run-up to the US presidential elections 2012, we were approached by KK Outlet, the London outpost of Kesselskramer from Amsterdam, to create a data visualisation for their exhibition Mapping America. The exhibition shows a selection of original artworks that examine characteristic sociological and political parameters from different viewpoints.
Strukt’s Andreas Koller worked in collaboration with Melissa Kim to produce a series of three posters, all dealing with different aspects of the US elections. The Royal College of Art, where Andreas is currently studying Information Experience Design, provided the environment for this visualisation experiment. The final works have been shown in November 2012 at KK Outlet in Hoxton, London.
The project’s website unitedstatsofamerica.net provides a zoomable high-resolution view of all posters as well as a key.
The three posters show the distinction among the 50 states in the American presidential elections by emphasizing selected parameters and highlighting America’s unique Electoral College voting system as well as the two-party system. The states are represented by information graphics made out of lines, stars or spheres, while the lengths of the lines, the shape of the stars or the size of the spheres indicate different properties. The individual forms show precisely how diverse the states are regarding size, population, education, unemployment, religious traditions, income, turnout, power and positions on various hot issues discussed during this election. This system is best experienced on the project’s website, where the graphics can be explored in detail.
The posters mimic the neat grid of the 50 stars on the American flag and each state was placed on this grid according to their relative geographic locations. Thus the trends in particular areas and the differences between west coast, midwest, south and east coast become obvious.