Four Hours in Line: Diary of a Georgia Voter

Here is a screenshot of the map that I made. The map is titled “Diary of a Georgia Voter” and it shows the path I waited.
Screencapture from “Diary of a Georgia Voter” Storymap

🍑 You can view the Storymap here.

Background

When I tell people I waited four hours to vote, it immediately sounds like a hyperbole. To describe the experience, I wanted to create a geospatial representation of what it actually feels like to move at just .05 mph for 4 hours. As a designer and a visual storyteller, I immediately whipped up this static map of my experience, in the hopes that it might make be a good resource for organizations like Fair Fight, who collected my story as part of their initiative to account for and document instances of voter suppression.

Static map made immediately after the election

Next, I took Mapbox’s Election Mapping Challenge as my invitation to make my static map into something interactive and to level up my rookie engineer skills. I also thought it would be interesting to interpret a singular, personal story on a map.

The Making Of

This is the first map I ever made, so it was a tremendous learning experience. When I first started on this endeavor, I did not even know how to find longitude and latitude for a specific location! Feeling ambitious, I toyed with the idea of an AR game where you arrowed through the four-hour wait with me (maybe in real time, if I wanted it to be tortuous.) After realizing I was way out of my depths, I returned to the drawing board. Fortunately, I had my static map to work from, and I used that as my MVP.

I settled on a “Scrollytelling” style of building the map after toying around with a few different formats for sharing the map I had in mind. I found this tutorial by Lo Bénichou to be invaluable.

Here is the raw mapping data, with custom iconography. To make the map, I created two folders: one with the path that I traveled, and one with key points of interest along my route. In the Scrollytelling template, I assigned a card to each point of interest, and added a title, photo, and description to each card.

🍑 You can view the Storymap here.

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Sarah Lashinsky

Sarah Lashinsky

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