The primary election for a host of local candidates is being held Tuesday — from district attorney to city controller, municipal judges and others.
On the heels of releasing a new version of a subscription-based district-matching and legislative data API, Callowhill geographic analysis and software development firm Avencia released yesterday a free Web-based tool to search and map Philadelphia’s election results from 1992 to 2008 (click at bottom right to proceed anonymously for preview).
The application runs on Avencia’s Kaleidocade Indicators Framework, which enables users to visualize, interpret, and map large data sets. The “Philadelphia Election Results, 1992-2008” application, the data set includes more than four million records, like the results of elections held in Philly for all state and national offices for those 16 years, along with the results of the 2007 elections for city offices, both at the precinct and the ward levels.
“This is a very important data set, one that doesn’t exist anywhere out there, so we’d like to expand it, by adding years further in the past and continuing to update it,” says spokeswoman Abby Fretz.
The Philly election data is a sample of what KIF can do — showing off the heavy software for potential buyers. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is using KIF to analyze juvenile delinquency data, and Temple University’s Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project has crunched its own collected social data that was formerly stuck on paper only.
Some of Avencia’s clients keep their data in-house, but others use KIF to put their data into the world, Fretz says.
KIF provides many options for interpreting the data, from visualizing election results on a map which enables users to detect spatial patterns in candidate performance, to using a table or viewed as statistical summaries and compared through ranked lists of results.
Avencia says the tool’s Philly election sample has its own host of values, from lessening the burden on election commissioners to helping grassroot political organizations and campaigns.
The company’s DecisionTree geographic planning and prioritization software has also been used to enable campaigns to prioritize canvassing by using data.