Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Sunlight Foundation App ID's Political Ads Sunlight Foundation App ID's Political Ads

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Tech

Sunlight Foundation App ID's Political Ads

August 22, 2012

When that song you're hearing on the radio or in a bar is driving you crazy, because you just can't remember the name of the band, the mobile app Shazam can supply the missing information.

The Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group that focuses on government data transparency, is trying to bring the same functionality to political ads. Ad Hawk, pun intended, works much the same as Shazam. Cue up the app on an Android smartphone or Apple iPhone when a political ad is playing on TV or the radio, and Ad Hawk will give a listen and try to match the ad to its database of political spots. If there's a match, the app will offer info on the funding behind the ad, where it's airing, and links to any news articles about groups backing an ad.

One key difference -- political ads are typically just 30-seconds long, so Ad Hawk users will have to act a little faster than someone trying to remember, say, the name of the band that does "Point of No Return." And even among the political junkies of Washington, D.C., it's hard to imagine a bar bet that can be settled with information on whether an ad is sponsored by American Crossroads or Club For Growth Action.

The Sunlight Foundation is using open source technology from Echoprint to enable audio matching, but the back end work of uploading the soundtracks of political ads for recognition purposes is being done one at a time by project developers. As political ads go live on YouTube, they are added to the Ad Hawk database. The app launched with a database of just shy of 2,100 political spots, according to Sunlight's communications director Gabriela Schneider.

The app asks users for their location, in order to collect information about political ads for the Sunlight database, including how ads are edited and tailored for specific media markets.

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Tech Edge

Sign up for our daily newsletter and stay on top of tech coverage.

Sign up form for Tech Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Comments
comments powered by Disqus