red | blue (pronounced 'red or blue') is a free Java™ app that figures out where you stand, or perhaps more accurately, where you are standing in our politically polarized country.

Can you get it? You can if you have...
  • A Nextel Java/GPS enabled phone
  • A Blackberry with Internet Access
  • A Java enabled cellphone with Internet Access
  • By taking your current location, and finding the nearest individual donors of campaign funds from the publicly available data from the Federal Elections Commission, red | blue is able to provide you an accurate reading of the political leanings of your surroundings -- red for Republican or blue for Democrat.

    First, once you fire up red | blue, the phone either connects to the GPS on your phone and gets your latitude and longitude, or asks you to input your U.S. address (depending on your version of the application). The phone then connects to the internet to send that information to the Gravity Monkey servers.

    A special thanks to Mike Frumin and FundRace for the geocoded FEC data and the inspiration -- indeed, red | blue is merely a mobile extension of Mike and Eyebeam's innovative web site. If you haven't checked FundRace out yet, you really should.

    [Note: These images are from the Motorola i730 emulator, currently one of the coolest phones in the set of Nextel Java-enabled GPS phones.]

    Then, like a magical greenback Geiger counter, red | blue will tell you if you're in Republican or Democratic territory, and will also show you the total amount of contributions for Republicans or Democrats in your area.

    A simple algorithm calculates the optimal radius around your location to assess, then generates an index of red or blue that is weighted by proximity -- that is, if you're standing in a Republican town, but at the doorstep of a huge Democratic contributor, the index will lean towards blue.

    [Note: The data used for these images, and as a default demo on the app, are from a position somewhere near Madison, Wisconsin.]

    It gets even wackier than that. If you are usign a GPS enabled phone, then your GPS position includes the direction in which you're (probably) heading. red | blue takes this information and provides you a compass that details the Republican and Democratic contributions in each direction from your position.

    Watch the image on the right -- while this location is resoundingly blue, you'll note that if you point north, red contributions dominate. It's like a divining rod for political preference.

    If you don't have a GPS phone, don't worry, you'll still get the same info, but you'll have to face North all on your own. I guess you can get a compass, or look for moss or something. I got a GPS phone -- but that's just me.

    And, since we've got all the data in there anyway, a candidate by candidate breakdown shows you the details of contribution totals to each individual -- from Bush to Sharpton.

    Nader, you ask? Hmm. Now that you mention it, I didn't see any reporting for Nader. Besides, that would mess up the whole bi-polar premise, wouldn't it?

    red | blue is available free of charge from Handango for a variety of carriers -- for any Java-enabled and Internet-enabled cellphone. The GPS enabled version will hopefully be available very shortly directly from specific carriers.

    Of course, red | blue will work only on U.S. locations, and is for entertainment purposes only. It only has anonymous data anonymous, in aggregate -- although there are lots of places, FundRace, for example -- where you can get more details like name, occupation and address for each donor.

    Phone Requirements:

    Click on the version you are interested to see a pop-up with more details.
  • A Nextel Java/GPS enabled phone
  • A Blackberry with Internet Access
  • A Java enabled cellphone with Internet Access
  • Product Support:

    Limited technical/product support available via email via It's free, so use it at your own risk: No warranty, no refunds, no apologies. Especially that no apologies part.

    Feedback, comments, questions, swift-boat-fire, hostile rhetoric and glorious geek-praise also encouraged.