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InstantAtlas in action
The May 2013 Cayman Islands Elections were the third elections since the introduction of the system of political parties in the Cayman Islands. Three political parties fielded 32 candidates and a further 24 ran as independents. The Elections Office is responsible for organising the elections and decided to use InstantAtlas mapping software to present the results of the elections as they were being announced. Lee Madison, Deputy Director of Operations (Acting), Manager of IT & Communications, was brought in to work with the Elections Office and explains how the project got off the ground.
What is your project?
The project I was given was to show what was happening in the elections. I’ve been involved in the elections since 1996 and have a background in IT. Previously we produced PDFs which were made available on the website to publish the results in each electoral district. However, we felt there was a better way to do this.
How did you come across InstantAtlas mapping software?
I looked around and saw that InstantAtlas was being used in other countries to show election results. I realised that we could do the same and used the demo package to produce a good prototype which I presented to the Supervisor of Elections.
How did you get started?
Once the Elections Office had bought the software, I started to work on the presentation. It was a bit of a rush with just a week to go before the actual elections, but the hardest part was to work out the spreadsheet because the Cayman Islands has a unique election system with multi-member constituencies. On the day itself we were making changes to the spreadsheet in real time so the results were up to date. A member of staff from InstantAtlas even emailed me during the election with a suggestion about improving the presentation which worked very well.
What sort of feedback have you had on the interactive maps?
We’ve had really good feedback on the maps. The local TV station was initially using its own graphics software but this stopped working and in the end the reporters resorted to using iPads with our election results maps.
How are you going to develop the interactive maps?
We have shown and made available the election reports to our Economics and Statistics Office who are interested in using interactive mapping for their work including the 2010 census. My main role is in the Disaster Management team and I will be using the same approach with some of my work here – such as generating profiles of at risk populations.
Other benefits are:
Test your reports out on a many different devices as you can. The Flash reports are great but where you are using the HTML5-based reports you have to be careful with different screen sizes. In the end we made several different versions and included a line of code to detect the device being used and made sure the user could access the version best suited to that device.
Results atlas by count - HTML5
Results by hourly poll returns (HTML5)
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