Monday, March 28, 2011

NSW election map

Last weekend NSW voters went to the polls to choose the new State government. As was widely anticipated, coalition parties – Liberals and Nationals have won overwhelming majority of seats. The extent of Labor’s defeat can be best gauged by looking at a map which shows electorates coloured according to a winning party. Blue, traditional colour associated with the Coalition, covers almost the entire State of NSW, with only a few islands of red depicting Labor held electorates. The map was created by Sydney Morning Herald to report on the progress of election results.

The map is quite intuitive to use – just move the mouse over the polygon to reveal electorate name and click on a polygon to bring additional information about the electorate in a side panel. As polygons are created from point data they can be highlighted on mouse over. The downside of this approach is that, because of the limit on how many points browsers can handle, developers had to sacrifice the quality of boundary outlines, keeping points to a minimum. The effects are gaps and overlaps in individual polygons when you zoom too close.

As noted in GIS related media, this was the only map used in reporting election results in NSW. Why this lack of interest to commit resources and present “the battlefield” spatially? I suspect that it may have something to do with the availability of State electoral boundary data – a quick search on the Internet did not yield any results. Creating such boundaries from secondary information sources may have proven too big of a task.

First spotted on: Communica


Jose said...

Hi Arek, I am trying to track down state electoral boundaries. Will keep you posted. Jose

passenger57 said...

You can download MID/MIF files of the 2007 election boundaries at

All Things Spatial said...

Thanks for the info. It would be handy to locate boundaries for all States.

How can anyone be sure that 2007 version is still current? Federal electorates are regularly changing, I suspect State as well. Electorate maps available from the site show 2004 Local Government Areas which has changes several times since then...

Anonymous said...

Hi Arek,

I understand this is not on topic to the election maps, but wondering if you would know of a way to create polygons on a map of Australia based off of the map found at

All Things Spatial said...

Hi Ananymous,

Try this page: