The Eurosearch Song Contest, a new visualization from Maarten Lambrechts and the Google News Lab, examines what would happen if Google searches were used to award points in the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s a really cool piece that allows you to explore country-level data and see links between countries. Maarten also wrote up some thoughts about his process here. (You can also listen to Maarten on The PolicyViz Podcast.)
My favorite part of this project is the Tile Grid Map (TGM) of Europe, especially the slider that allows you to Squarify the Mercator map into the TGM. In this simple animation, you can easily see how the size of a country can distort our perception of the data, a common complaint about maps in general.
I’ve previously published TGMs of the United States in Excel (here, here, and here), so I thought I’d take my hand at recreating Maarten’s European TGM in Excel (it might be worth noting that only the smallest part of multi-part countries–for example, Northern Ireland and North Cyprus–are not included on the map). I used the same approach as I did for the US map:
1. Create a data column with the country abbreviation (and name);
2. Use a VLOOKUP formula to import the data from the Data column to the map;
3. Use Conditional Formatting to color the map;
4. Modify the number format of each cell to show the number, not country abbreviation.
Honestly, I don’t know if Maarten’s TGM is a good approximation of Europe; I’m less familiar with the geography. He does include Israel and Australia, however, so I know he made some choices of what to include, presumably based on his data set. I’d love to see if others modify this map, perhaps moving geography around or excluding certain countries. If you do so, please let me know.
In the meantime, here’s the Excel file. You can simply change the data values and update the colors in the Conditional Formatting menu to fit your own needs.