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 delineate 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. Click here for the demo, in all the wondrous splendor of Youtube HD.