Switzerland tile map

(Blogpost auf Deutsch unter www.geo.ebp.ch)

I believe in abstraction for conveying information, or ‘rough’ context for information, efficiently. Since a while, hex and square tile maps are all the rage in the US. Check out this post by the npr visuals team on the technique, with some US examples:

A hexagon tile grid, square tile grid and geographic choropleth map. Maps by Danny DeBelius and Alyson Hurt. (from npr)

A hexagon tile grid, square tile grid and geographic choropleth map. Maps by Danny DeBelius and Alyson Hurt. (from npr)

An even greater example (imo) comes from After the Flood: the London Square Map. There’s also a fantastic write-up about it:

London Square Map example with overlaid bar charts (from After the Flood)

London Square Map example with overlaid bar charts (from After the Flood)

With these examples and some experiments by Adi Herzog and Yves Maurer in mind, I finished my attempt at a square tile map of Switzerland:

Switzerland tile map overlaid on traditional map

Switzerland tile map overlaid on traditional map

(Side-note: As you can see, Switzerland has this peculiar concept of half-cantons, that’s what the triangular shapes are)

Example visualisation of a historic vote using the tile map

I put a shapefile, an svg file and an ArcGIS project file on GitHub. Feel free to use any of these resources, cc-by license applicable.

Ralph Straumann

Ralph is a world-citizen, a geoinformation specialist by profession, and interested in many topics. Here, he'll confine himself mostly to things geo-visual.

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