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Political Sign Mapping?

By Bryan Catherman

What happens when an owner of an internet service provider (aka, computer nerd) becomes a candidate for the United States Senate? Just ask Pete Ashdown, owner of Xmission and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

Ashdown, who is running against incumbent Senator Orin Hatch (UT), has developed an interactive map indicating the location of his campaign signs. But it doesn’t stop there—sign owners may take a photo of their sign and post it on the map. Because of possible sign theft, Ashdown has challenged sign owners to catch would-be-thieves in the act. There’s even a reward. Even now, there are likely scores of other computer nerds setting up motion detection, night-vision webcams.

Pete Ashdown also uses Wiki software to allow citizens to contribute and adjust his campaign platform.

Check out Pete Ashdown’s campaign sign map at http://vote.peteashdown.org/map/signs.php

Posted by catherman on August 20, 2006 10:31 PM


Well, like you said, he's a computer nerd.

There's already stuff out there like Frapper, where visitors can put a little flag to mark something (I think usually it's a house, but there's no reason why it couldn't represent a map).

He probably has programmers working for him - or knows programmers who can write a program like that for lawn signs in the state of Utah.

The funny thing, at least from my point of view, is the assumption that Republicans are the ones who steal lawn signs. Last I recall, the only ones who were getting their lawn signs stolen was GOP candidates.

But, whatever. It's a cool idea, and now that it's being put into use, you'll see other campaigns adopt it, and modify it, and use it in their campaigns.

Posted by: Flint at August 20, 2006 10:49 PM

We may know who did it. Someone has reported suspicious behavior that might be relavant here

Posted by: cliff at August 21, 2006 06:40 PM

The number of "signs" in Las Vegas this year has become ridiculously astronomical. I know a number of people that didn't vote for various candidates because of the size and number of the signs.

Posted by: Hugh at August 22, 2006 12:02 PM

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