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Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)
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Redistricting The Philadelphia Region (Net Tuesday)

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Avencia and the Committee of Seventy partnered to develop a website to engage the public around issues of redistricting and gerrymandering. Check it out at …

Avencia and the Committee of Seventy partnered to develop a website to engage the public around issues of redistricting and gerrymandering. Check it out at http://www.redistrictingthenation.com/philadelphia

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  • Avencia specializes in Custom Web Apps, Web Services and Solutions, Geographic Analysis & Geoprocessing. The Committee of Seventy is a non-partisan, non-profit organization which fights for clean and effective government, fair elections and an informed citizenry in Philadelphia and the region. Founded in 1904 by a handful of committed civic leaders, today Seventy is a leader on issues of elections, government reform and civic engagement. The Committee of Seventy’s staff and its diverse group of volunteer leaders, hailing from prominent businesses, law firms and non-profit organizations give their time, expertise, and influence to promote political integrity and better services for the region’s residents. Sadly, our partner on this project, Committee of Seventy, can’t be here today. Why not, you might ask?
  • It’s election day! This Redistricting project is actually the second project on which Avencia & Seventy have collaborated intensively, the first being an Election Day Incident Tracking and Mapping system. They’re out in the field tonight ensuring the integrity of the democratic process.
  • I wouldn’t normally encourage people to walk out on my presentation, but you may still have a few minutes if you live in Center City…
  • A few years ago we developed the Cicero elected official lookup. This was a project that began with a request from Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance to gather contact information for elected officials so that they can advocate for continued arts funding. It has now has clients in Pew’s Cultural Data Project and Carnegie Mellon out in Pittsburgh. Nonprofit advocacy groups are able to document where their members and constituents are located, and use this information to lobby lawmakers. They came to us because they wanted LOCAL data. The service has now been put to other uses, like the Oregonian’s election-day results lookup.
  • To do this, we amassed lots and lots of shapefiles of district boundaries. We noticed that Philadelphia had some pretty astonishingly contorted boundaries. We were wondering, how bad were they really? We happened to have all this spatial data handy, so we figured we could put our GIS & spatial analysis skills to find out.
  • Screened “Gerrymandering 101” clip from Gerrymandering: The Movie (www.gerrymanderingmovie.com)
  • Gerrymandering takes on many forms. Although it isn’t always the case, it often produces non-compact districts.
  • Non-compactness can serve as a proxy for gerrymandering. There are a number of ways to conceive of and measure compactness.
  • Convex Hull & Reock are dispersion-based, Polsby-Popper and Schwartzeberg are indentation-based.
  • There is a sense of urgency because of reapportionment and redistricting following the 2010 Census. The clock starts ticking as soon as numbers are delivered April 1, 2011.
  • Professional desktop solutions cost thousands of dollars and require a lot of specialized knowledge.
  • Web games are a great start in terms of public engagement, but aren’t as meaningful to people because they are artificial scenarios.
  • There have been some good efforts, but they are limited because they are loaded onto fixed workstations, or submissions are submitted to a central authority.
  • Data on multiple legislative levels/geographic scales.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Redistricting the Philadelphia Region Tamara Manik-Perlman 3 November 2009
    • 2.  
    • 3. Who are we?
    • 4.  
    • 5. © Photo used with permission from BlondSage , via Flickr.com
    • 6. Why are we interested in this?
    • 7. Why are we interested in this?
    • 8. So, just what is Gerrymandering?
    • 9. Compactness: A Proxy for Gerrymandering
    • 10. How do you quantify Gerrymandering?
    • 11. Compactness: Dispersion
    • 12. Compactness: Indentation
    • 13. Compactness: So Many Measures Convex Hull Reock Schwartzberg Polsby-Popper
    • 14. Calculating Compactness <ul><li>Begin with shapefiles: original district polygons </li></ul><ul><li>Calculate attributes: area & perimeter </li></ul><ul><li>Create reference geometry & calculate its attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Calculate compactness scores using various ratios of these attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Store all of these in a database with district IDs linked to Cicero </li></ul>Compactness = 12.49 = 9.30 / 74.43 (x 100)
    • 15. Fast Forward 3 Years…
    • 16. Tools: Professional Redistricting Packages
    • 17. Tools : Online Games
    • 18. Tools : Transparency & Public Engagement
    • 19. Can we roll all of these into one? <ul><li>Web application </li></ul><ul><li>Real data </li></ul><ul><li>Game-like interface </li></ul><ul><li>Public engagement & sharing </li></ul>
    • 20. Search workflow Map Layers Address 118 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 19106 (X, Y) WCF geocoding Elected Official Info Compactness Scores base maps
    • 21.  
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    • 29. Technologies: District Search <ul><li>Framework : OpenLayers JavaScript </li></ul><ul><li>Web service : custom, built on .Net Windows Communication Foundation (C#) </li></ul><ul><li>Geocoding : Bing </li></ul><ul><li>Base map : Bing (Web Mercator) </li></ul><ul><li>District Matching : Cicero API & GeoServer </li></ul>OpenLayers
    • 30. Technologies: Draw Your Own <ul><li>Framework : OpenLayers JavaScript </li></ul><ul><li>Base map : Bing </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing Tool : OpenLayers, customized </li></ul><ul><li>Reference Geometry : NetTopologySuite & GeoAPI; custom code </li></ul>OpenLayers
    • 31. GIS for Non-profits ESRI & TechSoup ArcView 9.3 Software, Training & Books $175 (license alone normally $1500)
    • 32. Redistricting the Philadelphia Region www.redistrictingthenation.com/philadelphia Tamara Manik-Perlman [email_address] 3 November 2009

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