Four Hours in Line: Diary of a Georgia Voter
It took me four hours to vote in the June primaries, so I made a map
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.
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.