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Romney vs. Obama: These maps are a result of comparing two maps for the same date. The “Obama” dataset was subtracted from the “Romney” dataset, resulting in a map that displays areas where each candidate had a higher probability of web page mentions relative to the other candidate. Red areas represent a higher probability for Romney, and blue areas represent a higher probability for Obama.
DIFFERENCE MAPS: Difference (or “delta”) maps are based on searching for a given word or phrase (e.g., “Obama”), and locating top web page results that use that phrase. The geographic address of that web page registrant is then mapped. The map coordinates for one phrase (e.g., “Obama”) can then be subtracted from the map for another phrase (e.g., “Romney”), creating a relative difference map, representing hotter colors where there are relatively greater densities of webpage uses of that phrase for a given date.
MAXMIND: MaxMind is a company that specializes in IP address geolocation. They have developed a very large database of IP addresses and the corresponding geographic addresses. With a downloaded copy of the database, we take the list of web pages IP addresses that have been selected in the keyword search and pull out the matching geographic address. Every month, MaxMind releases an updated database that we download and begin using. After testing a few different companies, MaxMind seemed to be the best option for our project as opposed to IP2Location, GeoBytes, or any other database.