Mapping Referendum Data

Mapping Referendum Data

Background and Problem

In November 2016, a referendum took place in Münster. Citizens were consulted about the question whether the shops in the city center should be allowed to open on two additional Sundays each year. While the overall results of the referendum were published in several newspapers and on the city’s homepage, more detailed information is only provided in form of CSV (Comma Separated Value)-files. CSV files have two major drawback: a) they may not be understandable to the broader population; and b) they do not present high level, aggregated facts on the spot to the interested user.


This project aimed to create an interactive map that allows the exploration of the referendum results in a more friendly way than simple tables would provide. Providing detailed information about the spatial distribution of the votes across the single voting districts allows citizens to see their vote in the context of all voters. Besides the voting results, the area affected by the decision is shown in the map. This helps the user to explore further questions, e.g., whether the people living in close vicinity to the affected area voted differently from those further away.


We're grateful for the Münster City Council for kindly providing us the raw data used in this application.