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Election 2008: Mapping Voter Experiences with Twitter Vote Report

With irregularities in the election process widely reported in 2000 and 2004, the 2008 election represented one of the first opportunities to use technologies like Twitter, SMS, and cell phones to document and map the election process. Twitter Vote Report was the result of work by activists and technologists, and created a permanent document of the 2008 election.

David Troy was the chief technical architect of the Twitter Vote Report project, which included inputs via Twitter, SMS, telephone, iPhone App, and Android app. The inputs were gathered, normalized, and mapped, as well as made available to watchdog groups and the press.

We’ll discuss the technical hurdles faced in the Twitter Vote Report project, the conclusions we reached, and talk about some of the other uses for the technology in the time since the election.

Photo of David Troy

David Troy

410Labs

David is the founder and chairman of Roundhouse Technologies, a firm specializing in developing technologies surrounding social media and geography. David is a serial entrepreneur and has founded several technology firms including Popvox LLC and ToadNet, Inc, which he sold to Landmark Communications in 2004. David is a longtime contributor to the Asterisk open-source PBX project and has also created plugins for Ruby on Rails. In 2006, he developed an innovative distributed call center technology using Asterisk and Rails which volunteers used to reach out to over 1M voters. In 2007 he created Twittervision.com and Flickrvision.com, which are real-time visual representations of posts to Twitter and Flickr; both are on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. David lives with his family near Annapolis, Maryland and enjoys cooking and flying small airplanes.