If you have been following the election results as they slowly unfolded over the last six days, you may have been reminded of the power of good infographics. Through this painfully detailed, county-by-county unfolding of data, the New York Times created three main infographic maps to keep people aware of what was happening—with one quick glance.
The first map shows geographic states colored either grey (not called), red, or blue. This conveyed which states had not been called, were called for Biden, or were called for Trump. The second map here breaks down states by electoral count. Instead of states like Montana and Wyoming appearing as giant electoral wins, here they are sized accordingly to their electoral value. As you can see, the blue prevails in the second map much more clearly and so reflective of the count. In the third map, the reality of the count becomes even more clear. Instead of breaking it down by land or electoral state, the votes are shown by area population, with a larger circle equating to a larger lead. Once you look at the second and certainly third map, the information conveyed in the first map—omnipresent in most media reporting—really falls flat.
Within the election results section of the NYT, these three maps are the tip of the information iceberg. Each map is very interactive: hover states reveal the count in each state/county, and on click, you are brought to a page devoted to an individual state complete with timelines of the count, a map of individual counties, and much, much more. As a designer—and as a citizen—I feel grateful that this team distilled so much information so quickly—and as beautifully as it did.