Election day is a ways off for ‘merica, but Google has announced a new tool at the start of the year to make sure everyone can easily keep up with the 2012 US election. The election hub comes just in time for the Iowa caucuses.
Google’s new site at google.com/elections allows citizens to “study, watch, discuss, learn about, participate in and perhaps make an impact on the digital campaign trail as it blazes forward to Tuesday, November 6, 2012,” writes Eric Hysen on the official company blog.
The site is partially a focused version of Google News, with filtering options for the various Republican candidates as well as Obama. There is also a section that filters for news on the major issues such as immigration, healthcare and government spending. Alongside the US edition, Google has created an Egyptian edtion with coverage of the different parties as well as filters for major issues.
Expanding from the article aggregation, the trends page of the election hub allows the tracking of search volume, mentions within articles and blogs as well as how many views candidates are drawing on YouTube. Along with the Trends page, On the Ground lets users track news events on the map as they pop up. Currently it’s limited to Iowa, but it’ll be interesting to watch the map populate as the ball gets rolling.
The site also has a productivity tool kit for campaign workers as well as well as journalists. Besides the web presence, the Atlantic Wire points out that Google is creating media hangout centers for journalists who are physically covering the election. For the Iowa caucus at the Polk County Convention Complex, Google has a swanky little setup populated with bean bags, chairs,couches, touchscreen TVs, tech help center, coffee and “local cuisine,” as well as two treadmills–all to make election coverage and consumption easier for us, so there’s no reason to be uniformed this election year.
“There’s no question that the Internet is set to deliver more political information, opinion and news than any other medium throughout the 2012 U.S. elections,” wrote Hysen.