Tag Archives: map

First meetings with Google Fusion Tables

For our coverage of the 2013 Colorado general election, I employed mapping lessons learned during my attendance at the ONA13 conference. I used data from the Secretary of State to create four Fusion Table maps used on TV and online.

The first two maps showed turnout results for the mail-in ballots submitted before the actual opening of the polls on Nov. 5, 2013.

The first colors each Colorado county on a scale between blue and red, indicating which party has had a greater overall turnout.

The second shows, in solid colors, which party has had a greater percentage of their registered members vote.

Marshall Zelinger used simplified versions of these two maps in his presentation during the 5pm news on election day. See that video on TheDenverChannel.

The second pair of maps were built for display on our website and in our app. They indicate the approval or rejection of two statewide initiatives: Proposition AA – taxes on recreational marijuana; Amendment 66 – education funding changes and taxes. See those on TheDenverChannel’s 2013 election page.

All of the information I used to learn this tool is available in this summary of the session I attended during ONA: https://sites.google.com/site/onaftworkshop/maps-engine

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Google mapping and fusion tables exercises

Here’s a link from a Google mapping and Fusion Tables session Friday afternoon, containing links to sample data sets and instructions for trying the tools for ourselves:



— Phil Tenser, KMGH

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Million dollar idea?

Does anybody know of a map and timeline mashup tool? The question came up during my group discussion in the “Oops, we broke the article machine” session.

I asked on Twitter, and quickly got a few pitches… But I don’t know if any actually do this. What we imagined was a map that changes (or has points appear) as you progress through a timeline. Under each point on the map could be the report from that location.

Each group was given a scenario and asked to answer alternative ways to tell the story. Other interesting ideas: face grid of reporters and sources that click to reveal what they are reporting, another wanted to link a timeline with charts of data for election trends, several brainstormed apps that show projections that could be geolocated for politics or climates. My favorite may be a White House petitions style method for news tips.

And here is a photo of the scenario form my group was given:


–Phil Tenser, KMGH

Updated: An alpha test of a possible solution was announced on by KnightLab in the same day I wrote this post: http://storymap.knightlab.com

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