We did something a little creative and unique at WNYC this past election night: We mapped the vote by "community type."This revealed the diversity of the vote across New York State -- from the cities to the suburbs, boom towns and "service worker" centers -- in real time, on the air and on the WNYC home page. And the diversity is striking. Despite Democratic wins in every statewide race, the Republicans running for state attorney general and comptroller "won" every community type outside "Industrial Metropolis" and "Campus & Careers" counties.Patchwork Nation's Dante Chinni talked about this on air during WNYC's coverage election night, and has written more about it since.The live map was a mashup of Patchwork Nation's unique take on the nation and the Associated Press's live vote totals. At the request of WNYC, Patchwork Nation programmers dove into the AP test results and quickly wove them into a new map based on PN's existing county maps -- customizing them for the event and adding real-time percentages by community type.Bringing the Threads TogetherIn the months before the election, I had wondered how we might better understand the early returns -- those that come in typically between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. -- which often don't match the final results. I wanted more clarity.At a Hacks/Hackers Open-Source-a-Thon, I started playing with the election data with help from Al Shaw (then at TalkingPointsMemo, now at ProPublica) and Chrys Wu (of Hacks/Hackers and ONA fame). That evolved into a little program I wrote in Sinatra that generated vote-total map at the left, shading counties darker as more of their precincts reported. It also helped me better understand how the data were structured, how to retrieve the numbers and what it might take to make a live map.So when Chinni asked if WNYC had any county-level data sets we'd like to put through the Patchwork Nation treatment, I had the perfect candidate.