In the last National elections, I was foolish enough to create a live results elections map. I can tell you now that this is ill-advised, way too much stress, and more work than you first think. (See my video at the end for a good laugh.)
So while I have a leisurely voting day this time around, others are hard at work bringing you all the elections news and results.
The first place to look is, of course, the IEC. The IEC has a pretty good elections map of its own, which goes right down to voting stations. Results aren’t in, so I’m excited to see whether they report down to this level. It’s even made an app.
If you want some raw data, the IEC also has a candidates list in Excel format. It used to have the voting stations in a spreadsheet too, but that seems to have disappeared. Don’t fret, I made you a copy.
Last elections the IEC had a nifty (although somewhat flaky) API for getting results, but you had to apply for access. I assume they are running it this time, but thankfully I don’t have to worry about such matters.
The SABC has pulled out all the stops for this year’s elections coverage, and includes a pretty good map. According to Siyabonga Africa, “It was painstakingly built over the last 6/7 months with help from Computer Foundation (in Pretoria), our IT team here, Digital News, the CSIR and some input from Code4SA. It has a number of features, with some fun ones (that’ll go live tomorrow) being a party play-off (to see how coalitions and certain parties could win particular wards and metros) and results predictions (as soon as we get about 20% of the results the CSIR’s data models can predict the outcome of the vote).”
I’ve been very impressed with ENCA’s poll predictions, which it’s been running for a few weeks, monitoring the key metros of Jo’burg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. It predicts wins for the DA in each of them, so they’ll be biting their nails to see if their predictions are correct.
ENCA also has a very sexy map. They’re not doing dynamic zooming like the others which makes clicking a bit clunky, but they have chosen a lovely base map.
News24 put a lot of work into its 2011 elections map, and the experience shows, with what looks like it will be the most data-dense and useful of the results maps. It’s also beautifully dynamic. Last elections, they managed to wrangle replication from the IEC’s database, which meant they had the results before anyone else – sometimes running far ahead of the IEC’s official results announcements. So, if in doubt, probably the map you want to use.
Finally, News24 also has a bit of a data journ story, 2016 local government elections by the numbers, including a poll, big numbers (which could easily have become a great infographic – a missed opportunity there), and a nifty StoryMapJS.
This late edition comes after the TimesLive peeps pointed out that I was looking at the wrong TimesLive page, which is why they didn’t make it into the first edition of this story. The correct place to go is elections.timeslive.co.za, not www.timeslive.co.za/elections, which is what you get if you click “Elections” from the front page. Another map (this time with dashed borders!), a ward lookup, elections news, but also something called “Battlegrounds“, which currently is showing 2011 data but might become interesting when results start coming in.
And just in case you’re ever tempted to build an elections map, allow me to try to dissuade you of this silly notion: