Election '08: election night results widgets

Updated Nov. 5, 2008: 0:55 a.m.The widget maps turned out to be a huge success. We are approaching 100,000 installs and more than 10 million page views. The critical moment has passed and the number of installs decreased as expected, but I am positive the maps will be viewed and installed many more times before they become obsolete.

Updated Nov. 4, 2008: 9:34 a.m. The widgets installs skyrocketed today exceeding what we set as a goal by a huge margin. They got embedded on several major Web sites and thousands of blogs and social network profiles. By the time the results come in and the widgets switch off the countdown clock, I expect the number of installs to jump even higher. Let’s hope that everything will go great today.

Updated Nov. 3, 2008: I am happy that the widgets got a lot of installs and page views. All the three different versions of the widgets that we offer at get about the same amount of installs. That means we really hit the right sizes for most web sites out there.

The election is coming soon and we are almost prepared :) . Here is one of the widgets, part of our Election ’08 coverage from

Election '08: Data Explorer Map

msnbc election 08 data explorer

An interactive map that visualizes different kind of information related to the election ’08 such as demographic, polling and fundraising data. The interactive team at worked on it for months before I arrived. By the time I started, most of the core functionality have been written. I ended up working on the polling panel and helped with the fundraising panel.

You should spend some time exploring the map because it has a lot of interesting data that is not immediately apparent on the first screen.

When you get tired from looking at the enormous amount of data, you can head to the Analysis section and listen to what Chuck Todd has to say about the upcoming election. In the same section, you can make your own prediction or view possible scenarios. And if you are not yet completely satisfied, you can go ahead and check out previous elections.

Virtual Earth interactive map template

msnbc virtual earth map template
Click on image to view the map

This map is the first version of a more ambitious project that I am working on. Right now, it works like a tool for editors to map interesting news and events. An editor can create a collection in Virtual Earth and use the rss feed generated from the collection to feed the map. The tool is interesting in a way, because it gives editors control over what they want to display. They do not have to come to us, the producers, to make changes on the map.

The editors used the tool in a few projects and they seemed to like it. At one point, we had 3 or 4 projects using this tool from various sections on the site.

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Carbon Emissions Across the United States

Carboon emission across the US
Click on image to view the graphics

Electric power production and transportation are the two largest sources of carbon emissions in the United States. But there are big differences in emissions between companies, and from state to state, that may make it harder to reach any agreement on cuts.

Click here to view the graphics

Disappearing Foods: Encouraging a Comeback

A new book, “Renewing America’s Food Traditions” by Gary Paul Nabhan, identifies 93 foods once common in American kitchens but now in danger of disappearing. Some are livestock breeds or varieties of crop plants; others are wild species such as the Carolina flying squirrel. The book organizes the foods by gastronomic regions, which are shown on the map below.

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Prison Population Around the Globe

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The United States has the highest incarceration rate and largest number of criminals behind bars.

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Toyota's Global Presence

Toyota operates plants across the world. Some models, like the Corolla, are both manufactured and sold worldwide. Others, like the Tundra, are built in factories close to their intended market, while still others, like the Prius, are made primarily in Japan, and shipped worldwide.

The interactive graphics show where some of Toyota’s models are produced and sold.

Click here to view the graphics

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