The elections are political events conducted every 6 years wherein all legal aged individual would cast their votes for the presidency. It is a display of power struggle among candidates in which the candidate who garners the largest number of votes wins. With such strong implications for the future of a country, different research and studies are applied in order for us to understand the mechanism that ensues from the individual’s right to suffrage. As geographers, we are cognizant of the spatial elements associated with voting patterns, and endeavor to create maps that may provide substantial information in explaining election results.
The maps featured in this page are thematic maps that can be found in Wikipedia.org where in the cartographer/author used the pen name, “Howard the Duck”. These are maps that represent the winning candidate on a provincial scale. Generally, they are made to provide information regarding spatial pattern in relation to the phenomenon. For consistency purposes, similar format to shape and orientation have been used. Each candidate is differentiated with varied colors, representing their dominance.
These maps do not actually stand independently. Without reading the article in accompanies, one may not be able to absorb the message in these maps. In the 2004 Electoral map, one would instantly assume that Mr. Poe Jr. won the elections. The reader may not be able to immediately grasp who the winning candidate by simply viewing the map. Complimentary data like a table of electoral results or voting population per province should have been added in order to support the entirety of the map.
Though the maps were able to present consistent and contrasting color schemes, it would be better if the color used in symbolizing the map would that be of the actual political color in the campaign. It would be easier to familiarize the representation. For example in the 2010 elections, Villar was represented by a darker orange in the campaign wherein he was coded light green in the map. Though it can be seen problematic since Aquino was using yellow, and Estrada was represented as light orange.
The inlet map of the National Capital Region may cause confusion. It does not show any boundaries that it is just an enlarged region in the Philippines. Someone not familiar with the geography of the country may presume that it is a big island in the north-east of Luzon. Borderlines could have been helpful and arrows citing the actual location of the region in the map.
I actually think that these kinds of maps should and can still be developed. The concept of mapping out political geographies here in our country (the Philippines) is not similar to the USA, in which whoever candidate wins the state shall achieve all the electoral points assigned for that state. This scheme in representing geographic inquiry in the context of the Philippines does not apply because all votes are accounted for (popular vote). The maps in Wikipedia show the geographical size of the provinces but do not actually present the number of voters. It would be better if a cartogram based on voter density per province would be used then be represented with the winning candidate’s color. Another approach would be presenting each province with pie charts corresponding to the proportion of votes per province.
Cartography in the country has still a long way to go. As geographers, it is our job to develop our maps in order to better represent reality. Through this endeavor we can availably do so much better in research, in analysis and in execution in relation to other fields. Our success does not only mean the progress of our field, but as an integrating discipline, it signifies the advancement of all sciences.