October issue of GeoWorld (also available online) points out tools from websites like FairData that can help visualize where are those votes that can make a difference in Nov 7th.
The same issue covers the work of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) with the Sensor Web Enablement specification. From the project page:
"Developers will use these specifications in creating applications, platforms, and products involving Web-connected devices such as flood gauges, air pollution monitors, stress gauges on bridges, mobile heart monitors, Webcams, and robots as well as space and airborne earth imaging devices."Check for actual examples at this thread in the Google Earth Community.
In fact, if you are looking for an open spec check the article on GML (Geography Markup Language).