Archives for category: Maps

As news organizations, watchdogs and voters prepare for the Super Bowl of politics, it seemed like a good idea to survey what will be online for Nov. 4.

Some sites will start their coverage early. Already, the massive, all-volunteer Twitter Vote Report has been logging and mapping voting problems and good experiences.

Most complaints so far have been about long wait times and registration confusion. To participate, send a tweet with the #votereport hashtag.

New to Twitter? Not on Twitter? There are other ways to send a report. Developer Nathan Freitas has come up with some additional ways to look through the data.

At 6 a.m. ET on Election Day, the Washington Post will begin tracking voter experiences and related national news on their Vote Monitor page. To participate and to send news tips, post a Twitter message to PostVoteMonitor.

In addition, WaPo has interactive maps, live discussions, blogging and articles peppered around its site and on their politics page. Be sure to have a look at the very cool TimeSpace map and timeline mashup.

The New York Times just announced a slew of goodies for election coverage. A very handy tool for those who want to jockey returns is the pop-up dashboard, which will include live election returns beginning at 6 p.m. ET, as well as electoral vote tallies from network news, CNN and the Associated Press.

The Grey Lady is also trying to create the largest online archive of polling place photographs taken by voters. Add your photo to the mix under a Creative Commons license on the Polling Places page.

Addicted to Flickr? Editors at Yahoo News will be culling election-related photos from the site and posting them on and Put the word “election” somewhere in the title, comment or tag to be part of the search.

If you’re going to be out and about, bookmark the Online NewsHour’s mobile site. In addition to updates on the election, there’s a handy list of poll closing times and electoral votes.

NPR political analyst Ken Rudin has predicted Obama will win the race, but as we know, it ain’t over till it’s over. Want to map your own hypothetical outcome? Check out the You Predict map. The NewsHour will begin its TV broadcast at 9 p.m. ET, but you can follow developing coverage online now.

The Star-News may create the longest CoverItLive transcript ever with its Election Day live blog, which begins at 6:30 a.m. ET. The Wilmington, N.C., news organization reports record early voting returns in several counties. Thousands more are expected at the polls tomorrow., the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will have their reporters and photographers out in force, documenting any polling problems that may occur. In addition, they’ll be streaming Qik video from separate Democratic and Republican election parties, blogging and posting staff and reader photos. The content will go live Tuesday afternoon. Keep tabs on the coverage at

On the West Coast, the popular L.A. Times blogs Top of the Ticket and L.A. Now will be posting updates throughout the day. Around 4 p.m. PT, the homepage will flip from the usual center art surrounded by story links to an electoral map that will track returns for the presidential race as well as 12 hotly contested propositions. Sometime after, the site will launch a separate section on California.

MSNBC will be revamping its homepage for elections coverage. Before then, you can embed a customizable live results widget like the one below on your site.

Photo by Hilary McHone/Flickr

It’s the end of the week, which means time for Ricochet’s One for Fun.

Today, I’m giving away private beta invites.

Update: All the invites are gone. If I get more in the future, I’ll post a new note.

Mapfaced allows users to create, search for and rate food and drink crawls in New York City. It’s positioned to be part map mashup, part Yelp.

Evernote is a multiplatform notetaking and clip organizing tool. It’s been around since at least 2005, but the new incarnation allows you to pass clips to Evernote from PCs (Windows XP/Vista) and Macs (Leopard), phones running Windows Media, and Web browsers (Firefox 2, Safari 3, IE7).

There’s even an alpha test of IMAP support, so iPhone users can browse, clip and send to an Evernote account too.

Want to check either of these out? Post a comment telling me which site you’d like to try (one site only) and your email. And if you have a favorite bar or restaurant you’d like to recommend, post that too.

I’ve only got a few invites for each site. First come, first served.

Downtown Toronto will go dark at 8 p.m. Saturday as citizens turn out the lights to observe Earth Hour, a World Wildlife Fund campaign to raise global awareness of the human impact on the environment.

The Toronto Star staff produced a map of participants, but apparently was overwhelmed by the response and didn’t map all 1,163 places.

Nevertheless, it appears the area stretching from York to East York is going to be very, very dark.

Toronto Star Earth Hour Map

Toronto is just one of 26 flagship cities that will take part in the event. The Star is preparing readers for their hour of darkness with special coverage, which began with the breathtaking “Airsick” video (posted here in January).

It would have been fun and useful to have a separate map or map overlay of events instead of text listings by neighborhood.

Still, kudos to the staff for spending time on a project that serves its community.

More information can be found on the Earth Hour site and, of course, there’s an official Flickr pool.

With March Madness fully upon is, the question everyone seems to be asking is, “Where’s a good sports bar that has my favorite team’s game on?”

In New York, MapFaced has come to the rescue. The site, which is still in private beta, has a map of sports bars hosting NCAA March Madness broadcasts.


Scroll further down the page and you’ll see the schools divided by region alongside the name of the bar and a link to the map point. It’s simple and therefore brilliant.


When MapFaced launches (they say by Memorial Day), people will be able to map food and drink crawls. Imagine the possibilities beyond sports: theme eating, wines/beers/spirits, holidays; Sunday food samples at grocery stores…

Ryan Sholin at Invisible Inked is looking for bright spots that redefine news.

He’s started a list that shows some creative Web executions. Several commenters have added sites of their own. For example:

What I find interesting is that most of the examples on Ryan’s page are from newspapers. Other organizations (NPR, anyone?) must be doing interesting things as well. C’mon, represent!

If you’ve got redefining work of your own, feel free to show it off here in comments, and let Ryan know.

This just in from TrendStarks:

Google and Twitter are partnering to track Super Tuesday around the country. A live interactive map plots tweets.

Pretty cool.

Original post from Google.

My former colleagues at the L.A. Times noted a milestone in community reporting today: The Homicide Report has been active for a year.

Reporter Jill Leovy, who has been primarily responsible for the blog, wrote a feature about her efforts to record the facts of every homicide in Los Angeles, a city of an estimated 3.8 million.

“None of the more ambitious stories I’d previously done for the paper seemed quite as effective as simply listing victims, one by one by one,” Leovy wrote.

The project has become a magnet for the community and is often cited as an exemplar of online journalism, one that is both uncomplicated (a blog and an interactive map) and powerful.

Online, The Homicide Report caught the attention of other sites, including

But perhaps more significantly, readers responded to the Times’ efforts in a visible way. By offering a dispassionate view of murder in the city through the map, and a place for the public to comment and mourn in the blog, LAT did a service for its community, one that was rewarded with frequent site visits and comments.

I’m told visits to the blog alone numbered in the hundreds of thousands, making a case for news organizations to put time and resources into similar local projects that meld traditional, skillful, locally focused reporting with imaginative online execution.

What are some of your favorites? Do you have a project you’d like to share? Feel free to post a link and your story in the comments.

So here we are, a few hours and counting down to what will be the first test of online national campaign coverage.

The Des Moines Register has a great homepage headline: “All Eyes on Iowa.” And it looks like the public has been busy commenting on articles and the blogs in the caucus section.

Iowa Public Radio and WNYC in New York are joining forces for live, two-hour coverage, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central.

While most major news outlets are likely to be reporting returns as the Associated Press feeds them, the can’t-wait generation can look elsewhere for live updates. is trying an experiment in live coverage by the public, asking readers to Twitter, email or text message insider reports of last-minute efforts before polls open.

Townhall will be aggregating the information on its Twitter feed, IowaCaucus. Twitter members who’ve said they’ll be live-tweeting or sending in early return results include podcastmama, thepunk and smalleraperture.

Cody Marx Bailey, who’s in College Station, Texas, has built a Google map, where he plans to post live return information.

It’s been estimated that only 100,000 Iowans will help determine the front-runners for the presidential election. In years past, when there was some time between Iowa and the New Hampshire primary, the Iowa caucus acted as a leading indicator, letting the public know how those in rural states might vote, and letting campaign donors know who to throw their money behind.

With the Wyoming Republican primary on Jan. 5, and the New Hampshire primaries on Jan. 8, Iowa may not have as much pull. Nevertheless, tradition dictates we pay attention. Good luck to the candidates and to those pulling together online coverage.

*Update: In addition to the pretty cool interactive primary tracker described last month, has the names of the top five candidates floating in a so-called vote cloud on their homepage. The returns data comes straight from AP, but it’s a nice way of visualizing it.

You’ve probably been blocking it, but elections are about three weeks away. has been keeping an updated list of national polls, including the most recent Newsweek Iowa poll, which show Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama leading the GOP and Democratic hopefuls, respectively.

The primary dates have been shifting around quite a bit, making this election particularly confusing for the public. Though the Federal Election Commission has a chart, several news outlets have come up with better ways to display the information — and the implications of the votes.

The Washington Post created an interesting bar graph that shows the ripple effect of the earlier primary dates, as well as a national map of the primaries by state and by date.

The Los Angeles Times does their take on the national map with a more elegant timeline of votes and caucuses. The design reminds me a bit of the FEC’s presidential campaign finance map.

Pollster has a plot graph, that tracks the candidate’s poll ratings. There’s a lot of data on each graph, though, so it’s a bit messy.

Rather than tracking, the New York Times does some explaining, with a map highlighting the early states, and a date and map chart of the Democratic and Republican races.

PBS’ Online News Hour and NPR have produced an interactive map that displays data state by state using mouseovers. Click on each state and you get additional information and related stories.

Ah, flu season. Today, the New York Times reported reasons why the flu spreads more easily in winter. (WebMD ran a shorter story on the same topic in late October.)

By coincidence, the AP reported a story about flu vaccines being ruined by improper storage.

Since the flu shorts are top of mind — National Influenza Vaccination Week ended Sunday, you know — now might be a good time to think about health-related tools, such as a local map of who’s sick and where; where to get a vaccinated, who to turn to for answers and even a database on what local clinics have reported spoiled vaccines.

Just a thought.