It’s election day in the ol’ USofA, and that means millions around the country will ignore work of all types to keep up-to-the-second on the votes, lines, early numbers, and utter madness that is this November 6. And one of the best ways to do that is Foursquare’s new “I Voted” map (see below), which provides real-time check-ins at voting locations.
Foursquare users who want to get in on the “I Voted” action, must first add the “I Voted” app to their Foursquare accounts. Once that’s done, simply check in at a polling location or include the #ivoted hashtag with any check-in, and they’ll be added to the “I Voted” map. Users who do so will also receive an “I Voted” badge.
Even for those of us who choose not to get in on the check-in action, the “I Voted” map still provides a wealth of valuable information. Using Google’s Civic Information API and Pew Center for the States’ Voter Information Project API, the map also allows users to find their polling place, and find ballot and other vital election information. And the map is constantly updated with statistics about how the number of check-ins nationwide, check-in times, location numbers, and the gender breakdown of users. You can also explore these statistics state-by-state.
Clearly, Foursquare’s decidedly nifty map is not representative of the country at large. Foursquare has approximately 25 million users worldwide, and only a fraction of those users are in the U.S. (We’ve reached out to Foursquare to get more definitive numbers here, and will update if we get them.) So even if all U.S. Foursquare users added the “I’m Voting” app – which, we have to assume, they haven’t – the numbers reflected on the map won’t come close to equalling the actual voter numbers.
Regardless, the “I Voted” map is a good example of how the Web can be used to make election days more transparent, interactive, and fun to watch. Check it out below. (Give it a moment to load.)
Update, 10:55am ET: Foursquare’s map is “currently overloaded or down for maintenance,” according to Chrome. We’ll update again once it’s back in working order.
Update, 11:05am ET: It’s back, and running smoothly.