Data notes

European Elections 2019 and Italy's varying size

Among the many debates that follow elections, there is one that usually gets most attention among data journalists and people with an interest in data visualisation: electoral maps. This is not a purely aesthetic debate, as both newsreaders and political pundits make sense of election results through these maps, reaching often debatable conclusions. A common one, for example, is the idea of a “country divided” as highlighted by Giuseppe Sollazzo in a post focused on maps published after the 2018 election in Italy.

The prequel to “Finding Tito”

(this post is now published also on A few weeks ago, out of curiosity, Davide Denti asked me if I knew how to parse OpenStreetMap data in order to find all streets and squares dedicated to Tito in the former Yugoslavia. I was unfamiliar with how OpenStreetMap stores data, but after a few quick attempts I managed to extract some data and produce a map that looked meaningful. Early feedback suggested that the data were incomplete, and I did not fully polish the data, but – aware that I would not have the time to work on this in the following weeks, and perhaps I would never pick it up again – I decided to make public the draft document I created.