Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New online map tools to track election results and more

SearchEngineWatch reports on some interesting new mapping tools that you can use to track election results:

Google Earth link has added "U.S. Elections Guide" and "U.S. Congressional Districts" information layers [link to story]. By selecting these layers in Google Earth (not available on Google Maps) you can see boundaries of U.S. voting districts, links to information and news about the candidates, where to vote, campaign finance data and other election-related information.

Map-based real estate site HotPads link (it seems to have crashed today!) has also created an interactive elections map for the coming November election. Click on any state and you can drill down on U.S. Congressional districts and information on representatives from Wikipedia and other sources.

Boing Boing link reports on another "map mash-up:"

Launching today, outside.in link is a tool for participating in the online conversations taking place about your community within your community. After you locate yourself on a map, real-time blog posts, reviews, and news relevant to that area appear. Drag the map and the content changes. The system draws from a wide variety of placeblogs, user-contributed links, and tagged neighborhood data. All of that hyperlocal information is then aggregated together and linked to the physical places where the news matters most.

From Outside.in:

Every day, the web collects new essential information about your local community: the open house around the corner; a restaurant review in the local paper; a rant from a parent about a declining public school; a concert that's just been announced; a police report on a recent break-in; gossip about a celebrity sighting. But while that information is all grounded in a real-world place, on the web it is scattered everywhere: in blogs, online newspapers, discussion threads, government sites.

outside.in is designed to change all that, as a bridge between information space and real-world space -- a place to see in a single glance all the interesting things that are happening around you.

Philosophically, this site is all about letting locals share their knowledge in ways that make sense to them, and so we've tried to make the tools here simple ones that will encourage many different ways of using the site.

(image is Google Earth)

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