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Google Launches Election Page

Ahead of tonight’s Iowa Caucus, Google has released a new portal site to find everything someone would ever want to know about this year’s presidential election. The site, google.com/elections, is a dashboard for many of Google’s products that could come in handy for following the elections.

When you go to the site, you’re greeted with a Google News-style splash of the latest campaign news. But this is not your typical Google News experience. On the left rail, users are able to filter this Google News stream by candidates or issues.

But there’s a lot more than that. The site also provides a trends dashboard, which shows graphs of how each candidate has fared on search, Google News and YouTube mentions. It’s really handy, but as I warned in October, be careful with using this data!

Another tab is called On the Ground. It provides a Google Map showing geotagged content, both from news organizations and citizen journalists. It’s really cool and fun way to see what candidates are saying in different areas—in this case, different parts of Iowa.

Perhaps most exciting is Google’s elections toolkit. Tucked away at the bottom of the right rail is a link to this, which is a guide to how different interests can use different Google products for elections. It includes a t0olkit for media consultants, developers, campaign managers, IT or new media managers and, of course, journalists.

In the case of journalists, Google is mainly showcasing Google trends. “With Google Trends, you can compare American’s interest in every topics, such as politics, elections or candidates,” they write. “Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time.” Included are some clips to show how Google trends have been used in news stories in the past. Other tools featured include Google alerts, Google reader, search insights and YouTube politics.

Google’s new election portal is well done, and will certainly be a must-visit destination during the rest of this election year.

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