I ran into this fascinating map while researching election results. It’s a cartogram of the 2004 presidential election, coloring each county by its proportion of blue (Dem) or red (Bush) votes, and sizing each county by population

The map comes from Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman of the University of Michigan.

Compare to this map of the 2006 House election. But this map shows even more spectacularly where exactly the blue and red are: blue in the big cities, red in the rural areas, purple in the suburbs.

What it highlights even more is how much of the population is urban and suburban. You can see all our mid-size cities as purple islands floating in a net of red , and of course our biggest cities as honking big blue areas.

Also worth a look: Newman’s cartograms of some basic world data.