The clock is counting down until November 2, when American citizens will flock (hopefully) to their local polling places to cast their votes for the mid-term elections. And you can bet some of them will be checking in on Foursquare. To mark the occasion, Foursquare has teamed up with noted design firm JESS3 to create a dynamic map, which will display Foursquare check-ins in real-time at nearly 107,000 polling locations across the country. You’ll be able to access it at http://elections.foursquare.com/.
The site goes live this morning, but obviously we still have some time to wait before the big day so there’s a placeholder countdown clock for now. Fortunately JESS3 has given us some details on what the site will look like: the map will include the total number of check-ins, the gender ratio of check-ins, and a listing of the top check-in locations across the country. And it’s all done in HTML5 using the Canvas attribute (though there’s a Flash fallback for browsers that don’t support it). And, of course, there will be a special Foursquare badge awarded to anyone who checks in at a polling place come election day.
JESS3 built the site using data from the Voting Info Project (which has data on every polling location in the US) along with map data from Open Streetmap (which gives designers more flexibility than Bing or Google Maps). We’ll check back in with them in a week to see if any interesting trends emerge from the data.
This is Foursquare’s first major election, and it sounds like it has more ambitious plans for the next go-around in 2012. But it isn’t the only service that’s embracing politics: both Twitter and Facebook had extensive coverage of the 2008 elections, and you can be bet they’ll both be back for more this year, and in 2012.