Frequently Asked Questions
By way of introducing our product, we offer the following short video and brochure. If you require a further demonstration, please get in touch with us.
How can I interact with the maps?
You can move the map around by holding your left mouse button down while moving your mouse. You can zoom in or out with the slider shown or with your mouse scroll wheel. You can hide or show the Riding Boundary on the map by clicking on the Riding Name at the top of the page, or hide or show the selected map by clicking on the map title. Clicking on an area of the map will bring up details relevant to that area. Many maps also offer optional overlays by clicking on the "+" symbol in the upper-right corner of the page.
Why does the website keep asking me to log in?
Your login session will expire after an extended idle interval, or if your account becomes logged in on another session. You can only have one session active at any time. Logins might be unavailable for a short interval during a weekly site maintenance interval between approximately midnight Sunday night until 6 am Monday morning, Eastern time.
What is the Ballot Count ("#V") and how is it useful?
The "#V" maps display the Number of Voters, per Polling Division or Advance Poll, who cast a ballot for the given Party. The value is represented by how opaque the Polling Division is shown on the map. Values over 200 are shown with the darkest opacity.
What is the Ballot Range ("|V|") and how is it useful?
The Ballot Range, "magnitude of Voters", or "|V|", provides a relative scale of votes received. It takes the maximum number of votes obtained by that Party in any of the Polling Divisions, and divides the number of votes that Party obtained in each Polling Division by that maximum. This is useful in showing how evenly (or unevenly) a Party's votes were distributed across the riding, and is particularly informative where there were few ballots for that Party in the riding. For example, by examining the distribution of Rejected ballots you can decide where to allocate stronger representatives, to ensure ballots legally cast for your candidate are not rejected. The Ballot Range allows you to focus on the range of ballots, particularly where there are too many or too few to differentiate among Polling Divisions.
What is Rank (">") and how is it useful?
The ">" maps display the Rank obtained by the indicated Party in each Polling Division or Advance Poll - calculated by the number of Parties who obtained a higher ballot count in that poll (i.e. if there is a tie, both Parties may show the same Rank). These maps can be useful to quickly identify areas of the Riding where a Party performed well - or poorly, without being distracted by the performance of other Parties.
What is the Vote Result ("%") and how is it useful?
The "%" maps show the traditional voting results for a particular Party: calculated as the ballots cast in favour of that Party as a percent of ballots cast in that Polling Division or Advance Poll. It is more useful in determining relative strength. It does not indicate how many ballots were cast: a Party could get more votes from 10% of a large number of ballots than from 50% of a small number of ballots.
What is the Vote Turnout ("/E") and how is it useful?
The "/E" maps show the Voter Turnout: the voting results for a particular Party as a percentage of the Voters List (the number of Electors in that Polling Division). Of particular note, the "/E" maps for "Total Votes" illustrate the distribution of Voter Turnout across the riding.
How are "Winners" calculated and how are those maps useful?
"Winners" reflect the Party which received the most votes in each Poling Division. These maps can illustrate areas of the riding where a Party's support is stronger relative to the other Parties, but it does not necessarily reflect how many ballots were cast for that Party. It is possible for a Party to get more votes from Polling Divisions where it placed second (or lower) than from Polling Divisions where it ranked first - because the rank does not indicate how many ballots were cast in different Polling Divisions.
There are two versions of "Winners" maps: one simply identifies which Party won each Polling Division while the other includes a different colouration based on the Margin of Victory.
How Can I Print a Map?
On the page listing the various maps available for a riding, there is a button below the list, called "Optional Settings". Selecting a target of "Print" with the appropriate size will allow you to select a map with the corresponding dimensions and with certain navigation features hidden. You can then use your browser's Print function to create a PDF or, if available, print directly to a printer. For example, in the Chrome browser you should select the Destination "Save as PDF", and use the Printer Dialog to select the appropriate page size.
Can Voter Turnout exceed 100%?
Voter Turnout is measured against the Final List of Electors (FLE) as prepared by Elections Canada a few days before Election Day, and does not include voters added to that list on Election Day. Voters added to the list on Election Day can push Voter Turnout over 100% of the count from the FLE.
How do these maps reflect Boundary changes?
Maps are constructed based on Party Affiliation (Independent candidates are, in effect, given their own Party), so where a new Riding includes Polling Divisions from different Ridings in the previous elections the multiple candidates from those previous ridings are shown on the same map, based on their common Party Affiliation. When you click on a Polling Division, you will see it identified by Year, Riding number (from that year's riding numbering), and Poll Number, and the individual candidates names will also be shown.
Why do some Polling Divisions appear on the maps that aren't in the new Riding?
Because of adjustments to Riding Boundaries, it is possible for some Polling Divisions to partially overlap the new Boundaries, even if there are no voters from that Polling Division in the new Riding. Our algorithms attempt to include any Polling Division which has a meaningful footprint within the new Riding Boundary. This may sometimes occur because of a long shared boundary which suggests a potential overlap of a couple metres.
This also has the potential to exclude some small (by land area) Polling Divisions which do exist in the new Riding very near to the Riding Boundary, or some Polling Divisions from previous elections which do include some voters within the new Riding Boundary, although we have made every effort to avoid this.
Are these the same Polling Division Boundaries that will be used for the 2015 Election?
No. We expect Elections Canada to publish the new Polling Division boundaries for the 2015 Election late in 2015, but we cannot be certain they will be made available before the election. We can expect Elections Canada to retain many of the same Polling Division boundaries used in previous elections, but the boundaries from the previous elections can only be used as a guide to our planning.
Why do some maps show results for only part of the Riding?
If a new Riding includes parts of several different ridings from previous elections, there may have been a Party which was only represented in the Election results for a subset of the previous ridings. In such a case, we include the results obtained by that Party and where that Party had no results we outline the remaining Polling Divisions in grey.
What about Split Polls?
Where possible, split polls (where Elections Canada takes a Polling Division and treats it as two or more polls on Election Day), such as, say, Poll 174-1 becoming 174-1A and 174-1B, the results of those split polls are added back together and shown by their sum against that Polling Division (in our example, both 174-1A and 174-1B would be added together and shown in Poll 174-1).
Where can I get a copy of your data? Can I redistribute these maps?
The data defining the boundaries of each Electoral Division and Polling Division across Canada are available free of charge, with links from the Elections Canada, Statistics Canada, and Geogratis websites. The data delineating the election results for every Polling Division across Canada are available from Elections Canada. The data outlining the Forward Sortation Areas are copyright by Canada Post Corporation and are provided through Geogratis or linked through the Statistics Canada website. The map tiles showing roads, etc are from MapQuest and OpenStreetMap contributors.
You may use that data to create your own maps, but the specific details of how we derived our maps from the source data are proprietary and redistribution of our maps is not permitted.
What warranties are offered?
While every effort has been made to ensure the maps accurately reflect the data, it is possible for errors to arise during the processing and display of that data, and no warranties can be offered for its accuracy nor for its fitness for any use. The maps should be considered as one of many tools available to help with planning.
That's a lot of maps. How many maps are there?
Because there may have been more (or fewer) candidates in each riding, it is difficult to identify a "typical" riding. Most ridings have well over 100 maps, and some ridings have more than 200 maps.
Can I use these maps after the election is over?
All accounts expire as of 5:00 pm Eastern Time on October 30, 2015.
I don't live in Ontario. Why am I being asked to pay 13% HST?
Our business is located in Ontario, and all transactions are deemed to take place in Ontario. As a result, we are required to collect HST on all sales. For your convenience, we have cited prices inclusive of taxes where so indicated.
I have Maps from Elections Canada for the 2015 Election. Can you include them?
In order for us to include any maps, we require a license which permits commercial use. At this time, Elections Canada have not published any maps for the 2015 election in any form which we may include. Be aware, too, that there are no election results available for any 2015 polling division boundaries even should they become available.