Blacknell.net

Politics, technology, and society. And the seasonal incursion of pro cycling.

Interesting Redistricting Tool

Received this from an Open Government list I'm on, and think that it's well worth sharing.  Try it here, after you read the original accompanying email:
In preparation for Redistricting 2011, the company I work for, Avencia, started building a web-based redistricting tool for collaborative/ community-based redistricting projects: http://www.redistrictingthenation.com/search.aspx and http://www.redistrictingthenation.com/draw.aspx Type your address --> get a shape of your legislative district(s) and get a compactness score (less compact is **sometimes** a sign of gerrymandering -- some exceptions apply for geographic irregularities. For instance: shoreline, mountain range, rivers, etc.) + (first phase of) draw your own district. Our hope is that a tool like this could be developed into a more complete toolkit used by political advocacy organizations to let citizens or groups of people fully participate in the redistricting process by enabling the sharing, publishing, and voting of sample redistricting plans through the Internet/ Twitter or other outlets. Ultimately, these plans might be used to influence final decisions. Screen shots of  a full blown redistricting toolkit: http://www.redistrictingthenation.com/services.aspx We know there are some pretty important players in the redistricting world (especially software wise). There are also some great free initiatives like Dave's Redistricting App: http://gardow.com/davebradlee/redistricting/launchapp.html So I'd love to hear your feedback not only about our idea, but also about what features an ideal community-based "redistricting tool" might provide users (i.e., if you had a dream app what would it be?)
This is going to be consuming a lot of state legislature time soon - best start getting prepared for it.

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1 Comment

  1. Warren

    It is a fairly simple matter, programmatically, to take the census data at the precinct level and have a computer generate districts of approximately equal population and minimal total perimeter.

    No one is interested in such a program, because they all have their special interests. They want to solidify their power bases, or they want Blacks to have a majority district, or whatever.

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