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Obama Campaign Maps Policy Impact On Local Economies

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, October 5 2012

President Obama's re-election tech team has applied the aphorism 'all politics is local' to the Web.

Earlier this week, the campaign rolled out a new online map that enables Web surfers to enter their zip codes to visualize how the president's policies have translated to their geographies.

For example, typing in the zip code for 44120 for Cleveland retrieves several green dots that illustrate where the Recovery Act created jobs, what kind of jobs, and how many. The data comes from Recovery.gov. A panel underneath the map provides numbers relating to healthcare, overall job growth between February 2010 and July 2012, energy, taxes, small business, and education.

The map seems to be another iteration of the numbers that the re-election campaign is pushing out to volunteers as talking points through its mobile canvassing app. The difference with the online version is that some of those numbers have been pinned to a map, which was apparently created by Peter Warden in San Francisco.

While voters would probably discover more relevant information about their own tax situations under the two presidential candidates' policies by plugging their personal incomes into Politify, the map's still an interesting look at how the Obama campaign is selling itself and the president's policies to voters in battleground zip codes around the country.

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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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