Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Google Maps Elections Mashups

Today is voting day for the 2007 Charleston, West Virginia Municipal election and the Charleston Gazette has created a Google Maps mashup to help voters before and after they vote. They have rolled out a multimedia guide that includes an interactive Google Map, a Flash guide to candidate questionnaires and other helpful goodies. Web editor Dave Gustafson explains how he used Google My Maps to create the map:

"..To create the interactive map, I used Google Maps' new My Maps feature and drew the ward boundaries by hand. It is accurate down to which side of the street your house is on. We then exported the KML file and hosted the map on our site. We plan to update the map in realtime on election night as results become available."

This is an innovative way that Google My Maps can be incorporated into a media website or blog to prepare for and track an election. News organizations (big and small) all over the world should be doing this!

Google Maps has been used in Ireland to help people locate their Labour Party candidates for the forthcoming 2007 Irish General Election. This is a Google Maps mashup built by the Labour Party themselves and features a regular Google Maps view, along with a "Constituencies" toggle button that shows the various ridings/regions on the map.

Here are more innovative and pioneering examples of how Google Maps has been used in the context of an election:
Have an example to share? Post a comment to show how you've mapped an election in your part of the world! (Google Earth examples welcome too!)
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