Thursday, December 15, 2005

Google Mapping U.S. election donors

Taken from the following news release: Matthew Kane, an Indiana University School of Informatics doctoral student, has devised a program that identifies donors, their addresses and the amounts they gave to candidates and the Republican and Democratic national committees during the 2004 presidential elections. That information can be accessed by the public on a Web site (using Google Maps) Kane has created.

More from the story: The idea grew out of an assignment Kane received in a security class he was taking with Markus Jakobsson, Ph.D., associate professor and associate director of the IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research. The assignment was to extract information that people consider private, but actually is public record.

The donor information was extracted from the nonprofit Fundrace Project, an on-line resource that details and maps donors'’ information derived from records on file with the Federal Election Commission from the 2004 elections.

In Kane's view, the tool he created has a more practical use. It could be used by campaign strategists to know which ZIP codes or areas of a ZIP code are swing-vote areas that should receive attention versus those areas that are clearly Republican-dominated or Democrat-dominated.”
[ Read the full news release.. Check out the map tool here.. ]

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