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VizLab: A Tool for the Interactive Exploration of Geospatial Election Data on the Web

Presenter 1
Adam Schaal
The Center for Socio-Political Data, Sciences Po University

Advanced desktop tools for geospatial data management and visualization are nothing new. What are new are developments in advanced online tools which help bring some of the same functionalities to the web, and in doing so make the data more accessible to the masses. Each of these solutions has its strengths and its weaknesses- depending on the goals of the application. With a lack of complete solutions (particularly non-commercial ones), custom application development is sometimes needed to meet an institution's goals. Requiring an online visualization/exploration tool for its election and demographic data holdings, the CDSP has developed an application that provides certain features key to its research community. Unlike with most existing tools, the user is able to create custom variables from those already available. Further, users can analyze multiple variables simultaneously through a combination of choropleths, proportional circles, charts, and tables. Also supported is the analysis of geospatial data across changing administrative boundaries. Additionally, the user is able to save the online application state for later analysis, as well as for sharing with colleagues. The online application was developed using entirely free and open source tools.

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