Announcing the winners of the Elections Mapping Challenge

Megan Danielson

Dec 15, 2020

Announcing the winners of the Elections Mapping Challenge


Megan Danielson


Dec 15, 2020

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our first ever Election Mapping Challenge! The challenge, which ran from September through November 30th, encouraged users of all skill levels to create an interactive map, data visualization, or application on an election-related topic. Participants submitted both a map and a description of their project for a chance to win one of our three prize categories: Best Untold Story, Best Practical Tool, and Best Data Mashup. 

First place winners

Best untold story: Diary of a Georgia Voter by Sarah Lashinsky

Using the storytelling template and cute custom icons, Sarah turned a frustratingly slow voting experience into an engaging map version of a diary entry. Read about the project.

“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." Sarah Lashinsky

Best practical tool: Ballot Drop Locator by the Bay Area Community team

The team of volunteers at unBox recognized a need for accurate and accessible information on safe early voting options in the Bay Area, spinning up a team effort to map every official ballot drop-off location across nine counties - including translating information into five languages! Read about the project.

“Ultimately, we built this map to further advocate for accessibility: essential information should be available to everyone, in a format that meets them where they are at." Charlie Hoffs

Best data mashup: Populated Area Voteshare map by Ollie Ballinger

Combining election results data with nighttime light detection data, Ollie explores an alternative visualization technique to overcome the visual bias created by coloring administrative areas without accounting for population distribution. Read about the project.

“There have been many attempts to correct maps for population size using dots, bubbles, and arrows, but the resulting maps are either highly abstract or lose important spatial information in the process." Ollie Ballinger

Second place & Honorable mentions

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Second place winners

Honorable Mentions for student projects

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 Mapbox Election Mapping Challenge — from tuning into the speaker series, to sharing ideas on social media, to writing to us about your experiences. We are inspired by your enthusiasm and support for elections-related work and for shedding light on the pressing issues that bring us all to the polls. 

"This competition and the supplementary resources provided by the Mapbox Team has given me an outlet to express myself during these political times."  Krisangi Bhargava

Thank you to our panel of judges and Challenge guest speakers: 

  • Heather Rosenfeld, Dora Gold, & Amariah Becker (Tufts University)
  • Peter Schmalfeldt (Civil Service USA Corp)
  • Indraneel Purohit & Hope Johnson (Princeton Gerrymandering Project)
  • Amy Lam & Michael Snook (VoteAmerica) 
  • Lo Bénichou (Washington Post)
  • Ken Schwencke (ProPublica)
  • Torey Dolan & Robert Martin (Arizona Native Polling Place Locator)
  • Jeff Frankl & Dan McGlone (DistrictBuilder)

And, lastly, a special shout-out to all the students and educators who joined us for the Challenge, and congratulations to all the first time mappers! Continue building map skills with our Education resources.

The competition may be over but there are important elections happening all over the world that need coverage. Need help building an election-related map visualization? Contact the Community team or check out our elections resources