Friday, October 31, 2008

Google Earth Gets Political (kind of)

One of the things that makes Google Earth and Google Maps so popular is its flexibility for representing so many types of data. Yesterday, on the Google LatLong blog I found a KMZ file representing the voting outcomes of each US Presidential Election since 1980. Much of the same information is also available in a Google Map (embedded below).



Applications for Education
This file and map is a good visual depiction of voting results, but more importantly it represents yet another way to incorporate Google Maps or Google Earth into the classroom. An interesting use of this concept in middle school or high school classes would be to have students gather voting data from a local or state election and place that data into a Google Earth project. For example, an question on the ballot in Maine this fall is whether or not to allow the building of a casino in Oxford County. After the election next week students could gather the break down of votes by county state-wide and create visual representations of the vote.