Google made it easier for people to find their designated voting center in the 2010 midterm election by leveraging its mapping and routing technology. Getting the updated list of voter precinct data to route people to the correct voting center was not so easy. Traditionally it's necessary to buy this data, and it's expensive. Together with Google and the Voting Information Project, we designed a crowd sourcing tool that allowed state and local governments to come and update their local precinct data in exchange for getting an embedded map to use on their local get out the vote website. The idea was that if we could create the right incentive structure for government officials to share their data, they we would be able to reduce the amount of data the needed to be purchased.
Our role in this project was to design the data upload workflow, integrate single sign-on authentication for Google account holders to log into the site seamlessly, and grant permissions to their account session so we could pass the data they were uploading to Google Fusion Tables.
This video provides is a walk through of how the system works.