As I watch the first of the results of the election come in, I’m struck by the wide variety of options of websites offering data. Until this election, we’ve been left obsessively reloading the SBE’s website, hopping around from precinct to precinct, district to district, trying to remember what the numbers were when last we checked. With the SBE having established XML feeds of election results numbers, updated simultaneous as their own website, everybody from Politico to VPAP to the Charlottesville Daily Progress is reusing these data in mapping and databases. There’s no doubt I’m going to put them to work on Richmond Sunlight. We’ve got our pick among mapping apps and, by next election, no doubt people will be putting these numbers to use in far more interesting ways than we can envision right now.
All of this comes of the SBE simply opening up their data feed. I don’t mean to trivialize the work that likely went into that, but there’s no doubt that the time and effort required is less than the work that would have been required for them to put together their own mapping, etc. applications. That’s the kind of government I suspect we all like.