Martín González

Visual journalist at The Economist

About

I am a visual journalist at The Economist based in London, where I make graphics and interactives. I am also one of the co-founders of Politibot, a chatbot about Spanish and European politics. Previously, I worked in Madrid at Populate, a civic tech studio.

Recently, I did a Reddit AMA about interactive graphics with my colleague Evan Hensleigh, gave a workshop about tooltips at visfest unconf in Chicago, and taught D3 to data journalism students in Barcelona.

UK General Election 2019

The Economist

Design, graphics

With G. Elliot Morris, Evan Hensleigh and James Fransham

Our coverage of the UK general election was divided in two parts: a poll tracker and a result page. The poll tracker was published weeks before the election and the result page had an interactive map and a live forecast.

The result page lets you slice the constituencies by Brexit vote, age, race, density and income. This was inspired by a Times graphic from 2008 (written in Flash). During the election night the live forecast predicted the seat count well in advance of the final result.

 Democratic primaries 2020

Democratic primaries 2020

The Economist

Design, graphics

With G. Elliot Morris and Evan Hensleigh

The 2020 Democratic primaries are the most crowded in decades. This poll tracker uses innovative statistical methods to asses the state of the race.

This website runs outside of the CMS. To fetch the text we use our own fork of ArchieML, with support for drop caps and small caps. We built the site using Next.js and AWS Lambda.

Allocate seats in the Spanish Congresss

Politibot

Design, graphics

With Héctor Meleiro and Eduardo Suárez

A simple model to make your own seat forecast for the 2019 Spanish election. You can change the percentage of vote for each party and see how the seats get allocated on each province.

There’s 350 seats in the Spanish Congress. Every province—there’s 52—has a minimum of two seats and the difference gets distributed by the number of inhabitants. Places like Madrid or Barcelona have more than 30 seats each, whereas small provinces like Soria only have the minimum. Yes, this runs D’Hondt on the browser.

How to forecast an American’s vote

The Economist

Design, graphics

With Dan Rosenheck, Evan Hensleigh and Matt McLean

This little widget accompanied a piece about identity politics written by Dan. The idea was simple: choose a set of demographic traits and see the projected political orientation. At the beginning we wanted to do something bigger, there are some sketches where you could see every demographic combination in a tree layout. It was a bit messy and the deadline was getting closer so we simplified the concept as much as we could and put this together in two days.

Some reactions: “Impossible not to share”, “this explains all my online baiting”, “lunchtime distraction”, “owned”.

 The Big Mac index

The Big Mac index

The Economist

Graphics

With Matt McLean and Evan Hensleigh

The Big Mac index is the classic guide for currency comparison. It has been running on the paper since the 80s and as an interactive since 2012. Our redesign made it responsive and more explanatory. We did a long write up on Source that goes into more detail, but this project took months from start to finish. We even launched a survey before starting the redesign and worked with UX designers from the group.

Dealing with currency was one of the hardest parts. The index includes 56, from the Euro to the Azerbaijani manat. For example, the exchange rate is usually calculated with a value of one to one ($1 to €1), but for the Japanese yen it has to be set to ¥100 to €1, as ¥1 would be a mere €0.01.

Who’s ahead in the mid-term race?

The Economist

Graphics

With Dan Rosenheck, Evan Hensleigh and Matt McLean

Forecast model of the 2018 mid-term election. After weeks of discussion we ended up with a design that prioritises straight chances —2 in 3 rather than 70%— and emphasises ranges.

We needed to update the article every day with new figures but the CMS didn’t really have a way to automate this. Evan wrote a Puppeteer script that generated the new HTML, navigated to the page, pasted the text in the content box and hit save (don’t do this).

How Catalonia voted

Politibot

Data parsing, design, graphics

With Eduardo Suárez

Catalonia held a election in December 2017 after the dismissal of the regional government. Instead of plotting the results by party we decided to colour the charts by support for the independence.

We did a map scaled by population density and linked scatterplots with a couple of demographic variables: people who speak Catalan, Spanish born outside of Catalonia, foreigners, median age, higher education and income.