For the past week or so, when I’ve had a spare moment in the office, I’ve been working on a mapping project involving Elections Canada data and the Google Earth KML standard. For anyone that’s worked on a political campaign or in a Member’s office, poll maps are always close by and always useful for plotting strategy for the next election. Elections Canada provides data for drawing these polls maps, but unfortunately this data is not available in a format or projection readable by Google Earth or Google Maps.
I’ve gone ahead and translated and reprojected (after crashing my computer a few dozen times) the geographical coordinates that dileaneate the approximate 60,000 polls that make up the 308 ridings. I’ve written software that represents these data points as polygons in Google Earth and shades them by poll winner (party) or by party vote share by poll (Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Green or Bloc). I’ve also included an option in the software to shade the map by voter turnout. These maps have an obvious political purpose, however, addressing low voter turnout is a non-partisan interest shared by most.
I’ve been working on writing an API to make this sort of data available to developers through a few GET requests. I’ll keep you updated. If you’ve got any questions, please send me an email or put a comment in the comment section below. Here’s the demo, in all the wondrous splendor of Youtube HD.
(click the “full screen” button for the best experience)
11:00pm: CNN declares Barack Obama President-elect
10:01pm: Democrats are +4 in the senate.
10:00pm: stephentaylor.ca decision desk calls the presidency for Obama, even before the California polls close and lucrative pharmaceutical ads run.
9:58pm: FNC projects TX, UT for McCain. Obama projected to win IA.
9:51pm: Why so slow on projecting Obama as President? It’s over.
9:46pm: CNN projects NM for Obama.
9:33pm: CNN projects OH for Obama.
9:22pm: CNN projects WV for McCain.
9:18pm: CNN projects McConnell (R-Sen) winning in KY.
9:11pm: Levin (D-Sen) wins MI.
9:10pm: CNN has better exit poll data than FNC.
9:09pm: Johnson (D-Sen) wins SD.
9:08pm: Inhofe (R-Sen) wins OK.
9:08pm: Barrasso (R-Sen) wins WY.
9:01pm: FNC projects ID KS, ND, WY for McCain.
9:00pm: FNC projects MI, MN, NY, NM, RI, WI for Obama.
9:00pm: Polls in central US close. CNN projects RI, NY, WI, MI, MN, NY for Obama, WY and ND for McCain.
8:56pm: CNN projects AL for McCain.
8:50pm: Obama at 71% in OH.
8:45pm: US House of Representative so far +1 for the Democrats.
8:42pm: Mark Pryor (D-Sen) wins AR.
8:30pm: FNC projects GA for McCain.
8:38pm: CNN late to the show and projects PA for Obama.
8:35pm: Frank Lautenberg (D-Sen) wins in NJ.
8:34pm: Susan Collins (R-Sen) wins in ME.
8:32pm: John Kerry (D-Sen) wins in MA.
8:32pm: Dick Durban (D-Sen) wins in IL.
8:31pm: Jay Rockefeller (D-Sen) wins in WV.
8:31pm: Lamar Alexander (R-Sen) wins in TN.
8:28pm: CNN calls NH for Obama.
8:17pm: Obama leads by 250k in FL with 30% reporting
8:16pm: Correction… Dole (R) loses in NC.
8:12pm: NBC, ABC call PA for Obama.
8:02pm: CNN describes african-americans as a stronger voting block for Obama than registered Democrats.
8:00pm: McCain gets OK and TN. Obama gets MN, DC, IL, MD, CT, DE, MA, and NJ.
8:00pm: CNN projects fresh round of states 8-2 Obama-McCain.
7:55pm: CNN calls SC for McCain (44%-55% Obama?!) 7:34pm: Dole (R) re-elected in NC.
7:32pm: FNC calls Daniels (R) re-elected in IN.
7:28pm: Georgia leads for McCain. He should take it. 1,650 votes reported with McCain at 71%. 2.41% MoE, 19/20 (if the sample was representative, which it is not!)
7:24pm: McCain will take IN.
7:17pm: McCain leads in FL 54-46.
7:14pm: Star Wars hologram on CNN. WTF? (CNN title: “CNN’s Jessica Yellin via Hollogram from Chicago”)
7:12pm: McCain leads in VA.
7:10pm: So far GOP (-1) in the Senate.
7:08pm: FNC calls Linsey Graham (R) for Senate in SC.
7:08pm: FNC calls Mark Warner (D) for Senate in VA.
7:07pm: FNC calls Vermont for Obama.
7:04pm: McCain leads Indiana. Indiana hasn’t gone Democrat since LBJ.
7pm: CNN calls Kentucky Oldest
Today the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against speech with respect to the communication of election results in Eastern provinces to voters in Western parts of the country where polls are still open.
First of all, the law is absurd because it reflects wishful thinking on behalf of the state and doesn’t at all reflect the reality of the situation. If the state wished to prevent the dissemination of election results, it could mandate that all polls close at the same time. Specifically, a poll in Halifax would close at 10pm and a poll in Vancouver would close at 6pm (local times).
I understand the rationale behind the decision in that it is desirable to keep all of the electorate on the same level with respect to information available prior to casting a ballot.
However, the burden is upon the government to manage the situation using a solid and foolproof method, and not upon citizens that have the right to speech whether online, via txt message, via instant message, via telephone or telegraph. As it stands, the state is patching its leaky bucket with rights inherent to Canadians.