Austrian States and their Governments

There are 9 states in Austria and each of them has a governor — called Landeshauptmann or Landeshauptfrau). I created a visualization that shows each state in the color of the governor’s party in the years 1945–2016.

The States

Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna, Vorarlberg

CartoDB attribution (

The Colors

  • Black = ÖVP (Austrian People’s Party)
  • Red = SPÖ (Social Democratic Party of Austria)
  • Blue = FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria)
  • Orange = BZÖ (Alliance for the Future of Austria)
  • Light Blue = FPK (Freedom Party in Carinthia)

How did I do it?

Again, getting the data was no problem, this Wikipedia-entry was all I needed. Next step: the map. Like with charts and graphs, there are a lot of mapping-tools out there. I chose CartoDB as they provide a free plan and many of the example maps convinced me.

At this point the interesting part begins as I had to combine my data and the geo-information. CartoDB provides many different datasets, but I couldn’t find one based on Austria. Fortunately, I found this article, written by Konrad Lischka: Here’s how to use data from OpenStreetMap for your infographics.

So, you can use OpenStreetMap and OSM Boundaries to get the boundaries you need. In my case the Austrian states. Done that, I created a column with a number based on the particular party.

I’m sure there is a better way to do the following task, but I really don’t know how. That’s why I took a screenshot for every year and created a GIF with these 71 pictures. I just had to make sure that I always take the exact same map section.


The most interesting observation for me was that this visualization shows basically Austrian politics in a nutshell. There are several decades where nothing happens —and in half (!) of the states (Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg) there is not a single change of government (that was the easy part in creating the map) since 1945.

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