MapCarte 178/365: Voting Patterns in the Eurovision Song Contest by Thomas Molen, 2009


Some of the simplest maps can be used to great effect to explore long held assumptions about some phenomena. For many years, when votes are cast from European nations in the Eurovision song contest it’s been generally agreed that certain countries are more likely to vote for others. This map proves it.

Molen’s map for a Swedish newspaper simply shows more eastern countries in blue and more western in orange. The chord diagram is a graphic representation..a highly generalised map. It clearly shows the links between the different nations based on voting patterns. The main picture could not be clearer as orange occupies one side of the diagram and blue the other. The use of colour as a differentiating visual variable does its job perfectly and there’s little need to add any complexity.


Click the image above to view online web map

Molen does, however, provide an online version that allows people to interact with the diagram to isolate particular countries and explore the data further. This illustrates how, if the approach is simple enough it can be as effective as a print graphic as well as an online graphic. The online version simply makes use of interaction to give people a way of mining the detail.

Schematic maps and diagrams are a highly graphic representation but extremely effective at isolating very specific detail. Molen shows us how to make use of such an approach.