ELECTION 2010: Google invites you to ‘Map Your Precinct’

Google is inviting Filipinos across the country to map their voting centers via a “Map Your Precinct” tool that will help voters get to their assigned polling station on Election Day, May 10, 2010. The “Map Your Precinct” campaign relies on the volunteer efforts of Filipinos who are encouraged to tag the locations of the voting centers they are familiar with on Google Map Maker, Google’s online map-editing tool. The tool can be accessed athttp://ping.fm/S7INd

“As we saw during Typhoon Ondoy, updated digital maps can be very helpful in a variety of humanitarian situations,” said Dan. “Now that election season is upon us, what better way to extend Google’s mission of organizing local information and making it useful to Pinoys than to involve the community in tagging voting centers on Google Map Maker. By helping voters find and get to their correct voting centers on May 10, our aim is to help reduce confusion on where to vote, especially since your voting center may have changed from previous years.”

Using the tool is as simple as dropping a pin on the correct location of the voting center on a map. After clicking on the “Find your precinct” button, users will be taken to a page where they can click on the “Help others find Precincts” link. They should input the name of the city where they are registered to vote. The site will then display the voting centers located in that city. Users should click on the name of the voting center they want to map, and then after the map expands, zoom into the map to find and verify the location of the voting center. Users can then click on the correct location to drop a pin, and then click the “Submit” button at the bottom. No technical expertise is required. The tool automatically aggregates input from users contributing the same information, which will go through the Google Map Maker peer moderation process.

Because of precinct clustering, many Filipinos still don’t know where they’d cast their votes come judgment election day. (Need proof? Some of our readers think we’re the Comelec.) Good thing big ol’ Google has again come to the rescue with its Map Your Precinct tool.

Map Your Precinct is powered by Google Maps. It relies on volunteers to pinpoint the exact location of where they will cast your votes so they can help the confused find their voting centers.

Helping is an 8-step process:

Go to Google’s Find Your Precinct page.
Click on the Find Your Precinct button.
Choose Help Other Find Precincts.
Enter the city or municipality you know best. That should show you the list of polling stations in the area.
Click on the voting center you want to map.
After the map expands, zoom into it to find and verify the center’s location.
Click on the correct location to drop a pin.
Choose Submit.
Easy, right? But of course, there’s a peer moderation process to check if the user-generated locations are correct.

Your help is needed

Helping is as easy as ABC
The Map Your Precinct tool was started by Dan Delima, a Filipino Google engineer based in Tokyo, Japan. According to him: “As we saw during Typhoon Ondoy, updated digital maps can be very helpful in a variety of humanitarian situations. Now that election season is upon us, what better way to extend Google’s mission of organizing local information and making it useful to Pinoys than to involve the community in tagging voting centers on Google Map Maker. By helping voters find and get to their correct voting centers on May 10, our aim is to help reduce confusion on where to vote, especially since your voting center may have changed from previous years.”

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    […] and Philtechnology Blog both posted step-by-step instruction on how to use Google’s precinct finder app. Voters can also […]


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