Exploring Political Agendas with Advanced Visualizations and Interface Tools

Mikko Berg, Topias Marttila, Mauri Kaipainen, Ilpo Kojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


With Web-based e-services called "election engines," citizens can search for and compare candidates in local and national elections using issue-based questionnaires. The results of such services are generally in the form of search engine lists. However, data on political issues andagendas is very complex, i.e., highly multidimensional. Hence, we argue that relevant votingdecisions should not be based on simple search engine results, but on more encompassing cognitive operations. In our project, the service was redesigned to extend the function from a meresearch engine to a navigation toolset with real-time feedback. Two types of visualization components, a similarity map and sector diagrams, help citizens to make sense of multidimensional political spaces by facilitating exploration at will. As the result of an extended researchproject, our redesigned service was published by a major commercial broadcasting company forthe Finnish EU elections in June 2004 and in local elections in October 2004.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-63
Journale-Service Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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