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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: Today at 01:11:29 am
Finally, here are maps of the 2008 Presidential results in Alaska and Hawaii (Click on the picture for a larger view):

Alaska:


Hawaii:
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: Today at 12:41:21 am
The bad news is that I haven't had any success in further combining the shapefiles, even when using a program to simplify the shapefiles.  Nor have I had success making even regional maps on Google Fusion.  Again, the files are probably too large.

The good news is that I was able to do is convert the regional shapefiles into 11 .kml files that can be viewed together or separately on Google Earth.  If I have set the Google Drive permissions right, they should be available for download here, if you're interested.  Please let me know if you can't download them.

There are 8 CONUS regional .kml files, plus one each for Alaska and Hawaii, and a US Water file to put on top if you don't like precincts bleeding into the ocean.
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 24, 2015, 06:28:51 pm
Do you have a full size image of the map available for viewing/download? Like, zooming into metro areas within one image?

Not yet.  It's not even one shapefile for MapWindowGIS purposes.  The files are probably too large.  Adam Griffin and I are working it, though.

We're trying to upload the image to Google Maps, but are running into size limitations.  I was able to put Missouri online as a test here, but when I tried to put the Southwest region on the maps, things crashed.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 24, 2015, 06:03:16 pm
Regional closeups are below.  Since I started with California, I generally split the states along the border of Northern California stretched eastward.  I had to split the Southeast into Mid- and Deep South due to shapefile size.  As usual, click on the image for a larger view. Clockwise from the Northeast:

Northeast:


Mid-South:


Deep South:


South Central:


Southwest:


Northwest:


Upper Midwest:


Great Lakes:


I can zoom into any map level, so I can make maps of cities or metro areas by request.
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 24, 2015, 01:00:16 pm
Three states are missing.  Dave's Redistricting App doesn't have data for Oregon or Montana.  I can't find the VTD shapefile for Kentucky.  Should I fill in those states with county data instead of leaving them blank?

Using a more neutral color (gray?) that doesn't attract the eye so much as white does might be best.

I'm not sure if MapWindowGIS is compatible with layer files (.lyr) or external map servers but ESRI has a few options of varying quality that might serve as a base map. If you were using Desktop 10 I'd recommend light gray canvas.

I don't think MapWindowGIS is compatible with .lyr files.  But I could always add a grey county map layer underneath the other shapefiles so that it shows up only where there is no data. 
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 24, 2015, 02:02:34 am
Nationwide map (Click on image for larger view):



Three states are missing.  Dave's Redistricting App doesn't have data for Oregon or Montana.  I can't find the VTD shapefile for Kentucky.  Should I fill in those states with county data instead of leaving them blank?

I change the projection to Google Mercator, which doesn't bend as much.

Regional close-ups plus Alaska and Hawaii to come.
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: cinyc for Northeast Senate on: January 24, 2015, 01:02:07 am
I oppose the A Jackson per Sixty Act.  $25 per hour is way too high for a minimum wage.  It will cause low-paid employees to be replaced by technology faster than they already are today.  The net effect will be more unemployment.

I will vote against this bill in its current form if elected to the Assembly.
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Northeast Chief Judicial Officer Talleyrand on: January 24, 2015, 12:52:01 am
Assuming the law the Assembly is currently debating is currently in force, I think the election has to be for two people.  That law calls for a special election if the vacancy occurs more than 4 weeks before the expiration of current Representatives' terms.  Current Representatives' terms expire some time around 11:59PM on Wednesday, February 25 or midnight Thursday, February 26.  It's more than four weeks from that date right now.  The vacancy would have to occur on or after next Wednesday for it to be permanently filled by appointment.
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Northeast Chief Judicial Officer Talleyrand on: January 24, 2015, 12:36:55 am
It was also communicated to me that I wouldn't have to run for my seat because it was close enough to the end of the term that there wouldn't be a special election. I suppose it's my fault - NE election law changes so much that I haven't bothered looking at it in ages.

If that's true, then why is there an election in the first place?  Was the first vacancy created by Libertas' banning before the cut-off date for an appointment holding over until February, while Winfield's resignation came after the cut-off?
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Northeast Chief Judicial Officer Talleyrand on: January 23, 2015, 08:11:02 pm
Yes, my name should be on the ballot.  I declared in the official declaration thread.  The Lt. Governor probably didn't know that when he made the ballot, which still incorrectly says that the election is for only 1 seat.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: January 2015 Special Election III on: January 23, 2015, 08:09:01 pm
Official Ballot
Northeast Assembly
To fill two seats

[1] cinyc
[2] Write-in: Adam Griffin
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: TV stations of the 70's on: January 23, 2015, 06:51:21 pm
MYRTLE BEACH.  ABC:  3 (Wilmington, NC).  CBS:  5 (Charleston, SC), 13 (Florence, SC).  NBC:  6 (Wilmington, NC).

Was Horry County (Myrtle Beach) in the Myrtle Beach-Florence TV market back then?  There was only 1 Florence station, instead of the myriad of stations the market has today.  Maybe it was just the Florence TV market, as Myrtle Beach had no stations itself.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: TV stations of the 70's on: January 23, 2015, 12:05:06 am
It's ridiculous for Staunton to be in the Richmond DMA.

Those 1980s-era maps I referenced in my previous post are weird.  The highlight:  Fallon County, MT, on the North Dakota line, is shown as being part of the Salt Lake City market.  I can't even begin to figure that one out.

Fallon County is a very small county in the middle of nowhere.  Many small counties in the middle of nowhere still have tax districts that are responsible for rebroadcasting distant TV stations for the local county.  What market it was included in the 1980s might have something to do with what stations the Baker TV Tax District were rebroacasting on their translators and/or what any Fallon County cable or satellite systems were rebroadcasting in the 1980s.  If the translators or cable or satellite companies were showing Salt Lake City stations, it could have been placed in that market.

Best I can tell, right now the Baker TV Tax District is currently rebroadcasting one Glendive, one Rapid City and one Bismarck-Minot-Dickinson TV station, along with North Dakota's Fargo PBS station.  As best I know, it is currently in the Bismarck-Minot-Dickinson DMA, as are most of the counties on the Montana-North Dakota border other than Carter County on the southeast corner, which is in the Rapid City DMA.
14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 22, 2015, 02:36:20 pm
Very nice! I'm going to get the hang of this sooner or later, but you very well may beat all of us to it. Tongue If possible, though, I'd like to get something functioning in an online, zoomable format.

If MapWindowGIS doesn't crash from having about 125 shapefiles open at once, when all states are added.  Otherwise, I'll have to piece together an image by regions.

I have no experience with Google Fusion tables.  So that's all on you.  I'll be able to send you the necessary shapefiles and spreadsheets when I'm done, though.

Obama didn't win ANY precincts in Jefferson City MO? For a central city - especially a state capital - that's humiliating.

That's not true.  These maps tend to overemphasize rural areas at the expense of urban areas.  You probably just can't see the VTDs Obama won in Jefferson City because they're too small.  See the blown-up map below.  Jefferson City is contained within the centered yellow shape, which straddles two counties (black lines):

15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 22, 2015, 01:44:11 am
I've added the South Central States, plus Kansas and Missouri.  Here is the updated map (click for a larger view):



I changed the projection to Michigan since the last iteration.

Here is a somewhat closer-up map showing just the South Central states (again, click for a larger view):

16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / NYS Assembly Speaker Silver (D) Arrested on Corruption Charges on: January 22, 2015, 12:31:29 am
So says the New York Times.

Silver is a corrupt jerk who has been Assembly Speaker since the 1990s.  Assembly Democrats will have no choice but to dump Silver now.  Governor Cuomo will likely be instrumental in determining who would be the next Speaker.  

There was talk of Assembly Republicans entering into a coup with some Assembly Democrats to dump Silver before this happened.  Their votes will probably not be necessary.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NY-11 Special Election Thread on: January 21, 2015, 10:55:24 pm

I take it back. Throw this away and push the Garner issue after Donovan wins to tarnish the GOP nationally. We ain't picking this up.

50% of NY-11 voters agree with the grand jury's decision in the Garner case.  Only 34% disagree.  Definitely not fertile material to push to get out those who disagree with Donovan's handling of the Garner case.  They're outnumbered.

Fairly sure you misunderstood my point. I'm not looking towards picking up NY-11 (considering Democrats are f**ked there). Nationally was the key word in that sentence.

No.  I understood your point.  I pointed out the polling data to support it.

Personally, I don't think the Donovan's handling of the Gardner case will reverberate anywhere outside of New York in two years, if even in NYC by then.  That's a long ways away.  It will be forgotten.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: TV stations of the 70's on: January 21, 2015, 09:42:22 pm
I imagine it would be pretty hard to pick up the Richmond stations in Staunton without cable.

Probably.  Richmond is about 95 miles away.  But it depends on a lot of factors, like where the Richmond TV stations' transmitters were, how strong and high up they are, and, perhaps most importantly, whether the Richmond stations had translator or satellite stations in or near Staunton.  In the old days, there were more translators broadcasting far-away signals to places where you otherwise wouldn't get any signal than there are today.

The bulk of the population in Sullivan County, New York is about 75 miles away from Manhattan, yet it is in the NYC DMA.  In the old days, some of the NYC stations had translators to bring the signal there.  They don't now, but with cable and satellite penetration rates as high as they are, there is no need to.  Much of Northern Nevada is in the Reno DMA despite Reno being hundreds of miles away.  The Reno stations still have translators in many Northern Nevada counties to bring their OTA signal there.
19  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: TV stations of the 70's on: January 21, 2015, 08:41:25 pm
It's ridiculous for Staunton to be in the Richmond DMA.

Counties can change DMAs.  Neilsen redraws the lines every year, based on which market's TV stations are most watched in the county.  Last I checked (my DMA shapefiles are from at least 2010, and it's difficult to find new ones), Staunton is in the Harrisonburg DMA.  But if Richmond stations were more watched than Harrisonburg or Charlottesville stations in the 80s, it very well could have been in the Richmond DMA in earlier years.  Especially when there was less cable penetration and people had more of a choice in local stations than what their cable company gives them.  That is especially true if a small market like Harrisonburg only had one or two stations and more people watched the network programming from Richmond, which had all network stations and probably some independents.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NY-11 Special Election Thread on: January 21, 2015, 07:25:29 pm

I take it back. Throw this away and push the Garner issue after Donovan wins to tarnish the GOP nationally. We ain't picking this up.

50% of NY-11 voters agree with the grand jury's decision in the Garner case.  Only 34% disagree.  Definitely not fertile material to push to get out those who disagree with Donovan's handling of the Garner case.  They're outnumbered.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: TV stations of the 70's on: January 21, 2015, 07:03:33 pm
VIRGINIA
CHARLOTTESVILLE.  ABC:  3 (Harrisonburg, VA), 8 (Petersburg, VA).  CBS:  6 (Richmond, VA).  NBC:  12 (Richmond, VA).

It looks like Charlottesville didn't have its own TV stations back in the 1970s.  It is in its own TV market today.  I wonder whether it was considered part of the Harrisonburg or Richmond DMA for ratings purposes back then.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 21, 2015, 05:41:24 pm
I replaced the 2008 Southwestern US "precinct" map in the gallery with one that shows county lines instead of "precinct" boundaries and a correct key.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 21, 2015, 05:11:31 pm
Well this is just making me feel dumb, because I can't figure out neither the correct way to use the formula nor how it helps sort it all out. Tongue Comparing my 2012 shapefile data of Georgia alongside the exported data from DRA, however, already shows me that there's going to be problems: there are 105 fewer precincts as of 2012 when compared to DRA's data.

It works by only adding amounts from column C on the data spreadsheet if the GEOID on the shapefile spreadsheet equals the GEOID on the data spreasheet.  Here's an example from my AZ spreadsheet.  First, the data page from Dave Gardow's .csv file:



Next, worksheet from my shapefile spreadsheet with the =sumif function to sort.  I copied Column A directly from the AZ VTD shapefile spreadsheet.  Note the =sumif function in the box:



The data is properly sorted.  You can "prove" this by eyeballing the ultimate results on the map and making sure the precincts look like they are colored right.  For example, blue precincts in South Phoenix would tell you something's wrong.
24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 21, 2015, 03:33:57 pm
Here are some problems I (thought) I'd run into with the GIS/CSV/shapefile route. The first one is what I already referenced: precinct boundary changes. I know that in my own home state, it's not uncommon for 10 counties to change their boundaries in a given year. Something like 20% of the counties in GA now have different precinct boundaries from 2008. Finding a shapefile for a particular state and at a particular moment in time is challenging; if you're picky, it very well may be impossible (unless they're buried somewhere in Census data). Now, accumulating 50 states' shapefiles down to the precinct-level/VTD for an exact year...unless there is already a national precinct shapefile out there that I'm not aware of, I don't see how it can be done.

Using VTDs and block groups instead of the precinct shapefiles has to be inexact.  I'm not sure how Gardow did it, unless there was some requirement by Census that result data be sent to it when creating VTDs.  I doubt it.

Quote
I do have some basic experience with GIS and I actually use Google Fusion Tables quite regularly to combine shapefiles/CSV data with election results to make maps that way. One issue with this approach (and presumably it's similar no matter whether you use a GIS program or not) is getting a spreadsheet with election data to correspond with precincts in the shapefile. I know that whenever I tried to do this for GA in Fusion Tables, the columns/names of precincts in Harvard's and the Guardian's files were not configured in such a way that they'd correspond with each other. They could be named/numbered the same and correspond or be named/numbered differently but they'd need to be in the same order in order to correspond shapefile precinct data to election results precinct data.

The =sumif (or sumifs) function is your friend here.  Make a second sheet with the most descriptive column copied from the shapefile spreadsheets as the first column.  Then write =sumif (Sheet1!$A$2:$A$1000,$A2,Sheet1!C$2:C$1000) in cell B2, where Sheet1! $A$2 etc is the corresponding column for the descriptive data on the results page and $A$1000 is the assumed end of the data.  It's easier to create the function by mousing over the data you want than typing the numbers out, then putting the dollar signs in. C$2 etc is the column with the results data you want.  You can copy and paste this function in cells below and to the right of the cell due to the dollar signs.  It keeps the search area constant, changing only the results column when you paste in cell C2 and the lookup cell when you paste into B3, etc.  The =sumif function only works with results data that are numbers, not text.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Nationwide precinct map project? on: January 21, 2015, 03:16:33 pm
You'll probably get a better map by removing precinct boundaries. At such a small scale, what purpose do they serve?

I would also recommend finding a feature set that includes coastlines so that you can run a clip on the precinct features. This should address the aesthetic concern that homely brought up on the first page.

Of course, to do this right, you'd need either a plotter or (better yet) one of those walls of seamless screens...

I have water features on in California and Utah, the only two states with significant water.  My California water shapefile doesn't include Lake Tahoe.  I must have left it out.  I put the precinct boundaries (but not colors) on top of the water because I think it looks better.  Of course, other people don't agree on that.

Unfortunately, I can't find a way to get rid of the boundaries with the version of MapWindow GIS I am using (an older one because newer versions don't support my color schemes).  Changing width to 0 does nothing.  Changing the lines to dotted is barely noticeable at this scale.  Edited to add: but putting the same shapefile on top of the other one with 100% transparency and line size 0 seems to work for some bizarre reason.  That's counterintuitive.
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