Friday, January 11th, 2008

Flemish Politics Election Center

Category: Showcase

We recently posted about the Ajax behind the election coverage on CNN in the states.

We then heard from Bruno Braes, a developer who worked on other political Ajax fun over in Flanders, Belgium. This is a touch ironic since Belgium has been running without a new government for how many months now? :)

Bruno talked about the project:

The main purpose of the website was online publication of election results with preferential votes and statistical information (including man/woman ratio, age category of the elected person, level of participation). The website recorded peaks of 8.45 million hits an hour, 3 million read pages and more than 350,000 unique visitors on October 8th. The automatic refresh, the user-friendliness and availability of the site resulted in satisfied users.

For all internal final data storage as well as for publication of information to the outside world one set of EML (Election Markup Language) based XML (eXtensible Markup Language) – document types was used. This international standard guaranteed, over the entire election process, a uniform and well documented communication to citizens, the media, the authorities involved, the local organisations and the political parties.

Using AJAX technology only 3 static HTML pages were used to serve all election results via XML data translated into a JavaScript object model, presented live and real-time on the day of the elections. By using AJAX technology the load on the server was minimal because we controlled when the new data was pulled by the browser, by knowing the exact moment new data was available on the server. Another advantage of using AJAX was no “flicker” was shown when reloading content (which happens automatically after a predefined period of time). During the day of the elections, the website was also used by the political parties on big screen/projector without the need of having to refresh the pages themselves.

Various 3rd party libraries (Prototype, Scriptaculous, TrimPath JST engine, …) were used, as well as a lot of custom scripts.

You can still check it out, and surely you know a couple of cities, such as Antwerp, to plug in. You can also click on a map.

Hopefully both countries have good political leaders in the coming months!

Belgian Elections

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:17 am
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How is it ‘ironic’?

Comment by Jamie — January 11, 2008

We have a government since end of December :) and by the way, Wallonia and Flanders are not ‘countries’ but ‘Regions’ :)

Comment by FrancescoBongiovanni — January 12, 2008

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