Today’s map of the day touches on the thorny issue of…politics, though I’m not going to get into a political discussion; if you want to, please got the usual channels, i.e. YouTube comments section. This map from the Economist Intelligent Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index is a simple, clear, but informative map (click here for full interactive version here).

economistdemocracymap2016

This made minor headlines recently, as USA’s democracy rating, ‘the land of the free’, was downgraded to ‘flawed democracy’. For myself, I find the geographical and historical patterns of this just as interesting, for example, the post-colonial patterns of authoritarian and hybrid regimes, particularly in Central Asia (former USSR) and Africa. It is interesting to consider on an individual basis why some states have transitioned better (e.g. Botswana compared to other African states). Additionally, in a era of ‘fighting for democracy’, the ‘less democratic’ states which find favour in the ‘West’. The EIU has its own indicators, which, with the nature of political science, will have probably some level of subjectivity, but nonetheless provides a fascinating insight and indication of political freedoms around the world.

 

The interactivity of the map is simple and intuitive, simply hover over a country, pick from the drop down list, or the ranking chart below the map. There is 10 years worth of rankings in a chart below, which acts as a timeline to the level of democratic index according to EIU and the change over time. Going into the source code, it uses SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) for the world map and separate countries, to link to tagged data (stored as .js file) using Javascript and JsQuery to interact with the end user.

A simple but informative map, and managed to get through it all without mentioning Trump…Oh sh…

Happy Mapping

David

Credits: The Economist

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