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Makemakean Does Various Graphical Things!

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#1
So I'm currently on a week-long vacation to Paris visiting the forum's beloved and true @Redolegna himself, and so I figured I might for a few short days take a break from my self-imposed embargo on actually participating in any discussions on the forums. So that you folks will have something to remember me by when I return to Sweden and once again must return to focusing on my work, I create this thread in which I shall post various things I draw and otherwise construct.

At the moment, I have in an attempt to educate myself decided to make a full set of the electoral maps for all post-war Japanese elections. Much to my happiness I have from a very generous and reliable source gotten the information I need for each and every SNTV election between 1947 and 1993, and I shall soon start doing that. As a first little experiment however, I am attempting to do Japan's most recent election. I kind of prefer working in vector graphics for these things, and so Inkscape is my tool of choice. Currently, I have finished cutting up, I estimate it to be, some three fifths of Honshu, and Hokkaido into single-member districts:

Japan_super_map_20180423.png

As for my future endeavours, one thing I've always much enjoyed with graphics from the 19th century was how much more eager people back in those days were to use pie charts in maps. While of course one should be careful so as not to overdo it (see the third image from above):

19th_century_map-min 2.png
(picture taken from Redolegna's wonderful reprint of a 19th century atlas)

...but it still gives a very nice feeling to the whole thing. Another truly great aspect of working in vector as opposed to pixel-format is the very user-friendly way in which information is stored in an .svg file. It is in fact stored in such a neat way that once can produce graphics of one choice through the simple use of a Python-script:

pie_chart_max.png

...or even better, one can change the colours of individual constituencies from directly reading in information from an excel file!

[Picture of this in action yet missing]


This means that once I have all the infrastructure in place, it will be very easy to produce graphics displaying every piece of data that I happen to find interesting.

As I complete each map, I shall of course upload them on Wikimedia Commons, and here in this thread.

I hope you shall enjoy!
 

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#3
I presume I've showed you that 1883 US statistical atlas with all its amazing graphics that look way ahead of their time?
I remember that one indeed, and it was actually the first thing that came to mind, but I couldn't remember the specific date or what to search for to find a picture of it. If you could post a link to it here, that would be much appreciated, as 19th century infographics have a very special place in my heart.
 

Thande

Shoot the iPod to win a MONKEY!
Published by SLP
#4
I remember that one indeed, and it was actually the first thing that came to mind, but I couldn't remember the specific date or what to search for to find a picture of it. If you could post a link to it here, that would be much appreciated, as 19th century infographics have a very special place in my heart.
Here is the specific one, and here is the site on which others can be found.

Interestingly even @Heavy 's favourite videogame manual writer, Brandon Sanderson, acknowledged that site in his latest book--presumably his mapmaker got inspiration for a style from it.
 

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#6
Final update before the radio silence commences again, then! Have finished the Tokyo Urban Employment Area and gone on with Aichi, where the grand city of Nagoya may be found, a city of which really the only thing I know is that they have a university with quite some skilled algebraic geometers:

Japan_super_map_20180502.png

As for the greater script I'm working on, I shall of course have to start tinkering with the fine details soon, the actual reading in of the data from the excel sheet and the processing of the data, but for now, I still focus on the more ornamental stuff, like producing those shading bars (discrete rather than continuous, so as to pacify the Other Max):

legend_experimenting.png

Hrm...! Evidently going to have to make sure that those colours actually are different shades of the central one. Oh, well!

Been fun being back, even if I didn't post much admittedly, and I hope to see you all soon again in a month or so!
 

Ares96

Overcome with emulsion
Published by SLP
#7
Final update before the radio silence commences again, then! Have finished the Tokyo Urban Employment Area and gone on with Aichi, where the grand city of Nagoya may be found, a city of which really the only thing I know is that they have a university with quite some skilled algebraic geometers:
It's probably the most heavily industrialised large city in Japan - it's home to basically the entire Toyota group, and Mitsubishi and Fuji build aeroplanes there. It's also the only place in the country where the old JSP trade union network survives, not coincidentally, although they no longer actually back the JSP because, well, the JSP is stone-dead everywhere north of Okinawa.
 
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Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#9
So about two months ago, I think it was, I decided that I wanted to get into the map-making business in this community. Since @Ares96 pretty much has established a monopoly on Swedish electoral maps (and a well-deserved one, if I may say so), I didn't really want to create a situation where we're basically each making different versions of the same map over and over again, since I don't really feel there is much to improve upon on his work.

But something that has been bothering me for a while is there being a lack of good resources on Japanese politics, and in particular graphics. I've always felt unsatisfied with the pixelated maps on Wikipedia, and so I decided, as a project, to take on all Japanese elections from 1947 onward. To get some help with this (in particular what the constituencies looked like), I contacted Prof. Steven R. Reed at Chuo University, who is one of the premier authorities on Japanese psephology in the world. He was more than happy to help me, and gave me access to a whole bunch of data that came in very useful.

I decided to make my maps using Inkscape, because I've always found vector graphics to be more aesthetically appealing than pixel-based graphics (something which, I understands, puts me in a decided minority on this forum), and additionally, .svg files are stored in a surprisingly user-friendly format which makes it very easy to manipulate them using Python scripts.

I shall therefore, in about two weeks time, finally start posting on the forum a series of Japanese election graphics I make using these tools I have developed, which may come to feature some input also from @Lord Roem . The tentative title is Decisive Greenness (with all apologies to @The Red for basically stealing the title from him).

decisive_greenness.png

The idea is to educate myself about Japanese politics and postwar history in the process, and, if some readers learns something, I suppose that that's a bonus.

In the meanwhile, I shall post you all a little teaser for the project as a whole (all images will eventually be uploaded on Wikimedia Commons), my map of the 2017 elections. Hope you enjoy:

FPTP_and_PR_2017.png
 

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#13
I suppose it's fitting that Hokkaido is one of the few prefectures to not have any Communist representatives.
I cannot help but have a begrudging admiration for the Communist Party of Japan. They tend to field candidates almost everywhere, which is remarkable for a party of their size in that country. At least they are trying to win.

Of course, it is my understanding that since they abandoned doctrinaire Marxism-Leninism, they've in some aspects gone on and become the "Lib Dems of Japan", unlike the, err... actual Lib Dems of Japan. At least Lib Dems such as they were perceived prior to the Coalition: the safe protest party that promised all the good stuff you could ever want, and who unlike the big two blocs was much less prone to corruption and scandals, and that much of the vote for them is from the same people who would have voted Lib Dem in Britain prior to 2010. Not really the kind of people who set up study groups to go through Das Kapital with David Harvey's companion piece close to them for reference.

The kind of people who would actually be in the leadership of the Workers' and Peasants' Democracy of Japan from Decisive Darkness are probably more likely to be found in the Workers Party aiming for liberation of labour, though they only seem to have nominated a single candidate in the last election in what for the record is one of the strongest LDP seats in Japan.
 

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#14
By the way, anyone who might be able to help me with a Creative Commons license for this thing? I don't mind people sharing it and modifying it, but on the off-hand chance that someone wanted to use it for something commercial, I would at the very least like to have them attribute the picture to me.
 

Thande

Shoot the iPod to win a MONKEY!
Published by SLP
#15
I suppose it's fitting that Hokkaido is one of the few prefectures to not have any Communist representatives.
I think you just Tim Congdon'd me, because my immediate thought was "oh yes, it's like how Saxony used to be a left-wing stronghold even in Nazi times, before East Germany but now it votes for Nazis, so obviously this is the legacy of the Workers' and Peasants' Technocracy of Japan".
 

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#16
The Communists have had representatives from Hokkaido in the past, and as you can see in the pie chart, there does exist a non-insignificant chunk of Communist support there still, but not big enough to get a seat. I was somewhat surprised myself to learn, after running the script, that in some blocs (Hokkaido, Shikoku, Chugoku), 15-20% of the PR vote goes to parties that don't actually end up winning any seats.

While, when you ask the script to show the strengths of the Communists in a constituency-by-constituency basis, it does appear that they are fairly strong in Hokkaido's 7th district, this probably has a lot to do with them being the only opposition candidate to the LDP there:

2017_Communist_strength.png
 

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
#18
I prefer pixel-based graphics, but only because they're so easy to edit and share.
I suppose it depends on what kind of edits you want to do, what you consider to be easy, and of course, what you consider to be enjoyable also. As difficult as it may be to draw a pie chart in pixel-based software (I know @Thande is keen to include them in his graphs, so I would defer to his expertise on that), it probably took me longer, and was more tedious to write the part of the script that draws up those pie charts from a given data set.

Of course, I will never have to write that script again now, so henceforth all pie charts I make will be done more or less instantaneously, and in that sense, now it is infinitely easier to do it in vector format than in pixel format.

While as a whole, I do think I prefer vector graphics, I cannot deny that a well-executed pixel-based graphic can have a certain charm to it that one doesn't find in vector graphics. Great were the kingly halls of the Númenóreans, but they were no hobbit holes...
 

Thande

Shoot the iPod to win a MONKEY!
Published by SLP
#19
I prefer pixel-based graphics, but only because they're so easy to edit and share.
I think my attachment to pixel-based graphics is similar to my attachment to physical media--with vector-based graphics there's always this uneasiness that there's more interpretation by a programme involved and it could suddenly break for no reason and you could lose everything (regardless of whether that's realistic or not) whereas Paint is Paint.

Max makes a good point about pie charts though - pixel-based is Not Very Good for making decent-looking pie charts at the scale I use.
 

aurinoko

This Whole Thing Smacks Of Gender
#20
Well, Hokkaido was a left-leaning prefecture in the past, but they were a JSP stronghold. Political dynasty of Setsuo and Takahiro Yokomichi in Hokkaido 1st district around Sapporo being the more notable beneficiaries of this connection. You can clearly see the old JSP connection with the number of CDP members elected.