AEC to launch polling booth locator service

Unlikely to utilise Google Maps and other freely available mapping services

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is to launch an Internet-based service aimed at helping voters locate their nearest polling booth during the next federal election.

The externally hosted service will also help the public find permanent AEC business locations, reduce calls to the AEC’s election call centre, promote voter self-service options and provide a set of spatial services to a number of internal AEC applications - primarily the Election Call Centre Application (ECCA).

In tender documents, the AEC said the service, which would be accessible on PCs and mobile devices such as iPhones, was unlikely to utilise freely available mapping service such as Google Maps, Bing Maps or Open Street Maps

"Public mapping services could meet the AEC’s requirement in theory but the AEC’s experience has been that public mapping services do not meet the performance requirements of the AEC over the election period," the documents read.

"The AEC would need to be convinced that any solution that was dependent on public infrastructure could meet the performance and service level requirements of the AEC."

The AEC said it expected that over the a 12-month period that did not contain a federal election, around 50,000 location search requests could be expected on the service.

Work on the new service is expected to kick off early next month.

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