City Councilor Nadeem Mazen tapped a new piece of technology during his reelection campaign that helped him walk his way to victory this month. Using GPS data and information about likely supporters, a smartphone app automatically generated walking routes for him and his campaign volunteers to go door-to-door to drum up votes. “You can pull out your phone and get the next 20 people to go see — kind of Uber-style,” Mazen explained.

"I think people were so frustrated with this idea that we were doing canvassing the same way that Abraham Lincoln did 150 years ago and now we’re seeing that people go out on their smartphones and after their soccer game or after they get out of high school, they knock doors for about an hour"

“We built an algorithm to optimize [map generation] for political campaigns because they’re quite different than what you do using Google Maps or Waze. We try to identity clusters of voters - where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. Then we optimize a walking map so you’re not crossing major streets, and we also end you where you started because presumably you left a car there.”