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Senate Redistricting Map Attracts Attention Of Google

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Illinois Senate Redistricting Map

The Web site for the Illinois Senate Redistricting Map (Credit: Illinois Senate Democrats)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Imagine you are supposed to do a big project at work that ends up catching the attention of a famous worldwide company.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports, that is exactly what happened for a webmaster who applied Google Earth to the redistricting proposals in Illinois.

“When the Senate President gave us the directive, his whole point was we want this in the people’s hands,” says Ted Pruitt, of the Senate Democrat staff. “They could actually manipulate themselves, if they wanted to, and present a different version of what we’d done.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports

Pruitt says the Web site got 24,000 hits the first day. He called it a career highlight.

“Many times, we will post a lot of information on our site, and we always hope that the public will consume it, because we feel like we’re putting out important information, but you know, people have busy schedules and they don’t always get into the things that we think are as important as they should be,” Pruitt said. “The map was a completely different scenario. From the second we turned it on until the end of the day, we had to keep an eye on it to make sure it didn’t shut down.”

Pruitt said Google has contacted the Senate Democrats; the company is interested in learning more about how the product is being used. Google has called the product a model.

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