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Stanford and Harvard universities teamed up to create The Stanford Election Atlas, which gives users a precinct-by-precinct view of the results from the 2008 presidential election. The interactive data visualization tool presents the election outcome at individual polling places, compared with the old maps that only went as far as presenting election outcomes at the county level.

The atlas reveals voting patterns by neighborhood, including that those along shores, rivers and transportation corridors from the 19th century voted for Barack Obama. Rural Obama voters were clustered around mining and the Cotton Belt in the South, while those who voted for John McCain lived in the exurbs of cities and the surrounding rural areas. The atlas shows that suburban areas were divided between the two candidates.

The full atlas also allows users to superimpose the election results on data about race and income.

The atlas, which was released by Stanford’s Spatial Social Science Lab this week, took years of collaboration. County officials provided researchers with precinct-level data that was geo-referenced by the Spatial Social Science Lab. Esri helped to configure the interactive online atlas.

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