Smith College Spatial Analysis Lab

2008 Presidential Campaign Contributions

The “background” portion of the map represents total campaign contributions per Massachsuetts town. This type of map is referred to as a Choropleth Map in which areas are shaded based upon a particular theme or value. In this case, our theme is total campaign contributions. By convention it is best to represent a rate or ratio with this type of map. For example, contributions per capita would perhaps portray the data more accurately. But, for mystery map purposes, we think this map is just fine.

The pie chart symbols represent contributions to Barack Obama (blue), John McCain (red), and all other presidential cadidates (white). The size of the pie is proportional to total contributions and the pie slices respresent each candidate.

How it was created:

The source data were scraped from a website and saved to an excel spreadsheet. The data were then added to the mapping software (ArcMap) and summarized by Town and Candidate. Summaries tables were then joined to the Town feature layer and symbolized by color (choropleth map) and pie chart symbols.

Many thanks to Mollie Gabriel ’09 who did most of the heavy lifting to create this map.


Congratulations to Chris Gentes who submitted the first correct answer (in record time). Chris now joins Judy Franklin as a two time Mystery Map Winner!

Many other answers were submitted with close variations to the right answer, but were not entirely correct.

2008 Series, Vol. 2 Google Earth File