Daves Redistricting 2.1 – 2010 Data [Updated 2]

2010 data is here! Yesterday evening I uploaded Daves Redistricting 2.1. Here’s what is new:

2010 data is available for VA, MD and NJ. More states will be available in the next 2 days.

[Update: LA, MS and IN available]

[Bugs fixed in 2.1.1:

– old election data shows up

– 0% Obama districts corrected (to make them 0% McCain, too)

– unassigning districts now ok (lesson: don’t divide by zero!)]

Election data along with the 2010 data is available for VA and MD.

The UI is improved.

Z-Drag (like Ctrl-Drag) allows you to draw a box to color. Works on both Mac and Windows.

In other news, I will potentially be partnering with a non-profit and seeking contributions to support the Dave’s Redistricting project. I will let you know when I have more news on that.

More detail below.

1) The data: When you select a state you will be asked to select a data set from the choices available.

  — I’ve downloaded all the data for available states and the vote district (VTD) shapes from the Census site. I expect to have MS, LA, AR and IN late today. I’m currently using VTDs. I will evaluate using Block Groups in states where VTDs are too big.

  — 2010 data includes voting age population (18+) which is now shown with the overall population data.

2) Election data: a group of professors, led by Steve Ansolabehere of Harvard, is gathering election data for nearly all states. In general you will see the 2008 Pres numbers + an Average over some elections in the last decade. Important:

  — To aggregate the Average across VTDs, we use the voting age population for the VTDs.

  — To aggregate the 2008 Pres, we (temporarily) do the same. Steve is working to get VTD actual Pres vote counts in the data and I will use them when available.

3) The UI: Top Panel

  — you can minimize the top panel.

  — Tools and Area Views are collapsed by default. Tools includes less used stuff like Auto Color, Reposition CD Labels and more. Also, a check box to go back to the “Old” coloring method.

  — Help button takes you to a dialog where you can navigate to “How To” sections on common tasks. The link to the Help Page is on those dialogs.

4) The UI: Right Panel

  — The data for the current CD has been moved from the bar under the top panel to the right panel. This should give you much better readability, especially with more data.

  — You’ll notice also that VTD tool tips appear in the upper right of the map, also for better readability with more data. Note: I use the less desirable fixed-width font for performance reasons.

5) UI: Coloring:

  — “New” coloring (introduced 1 months ago) is on by default. “Old” is still available. See Tools.

  — Z-Drag, like Ctrl-Drag, drags out a box and colors the box. Ctrl-Drag was introduced 1 month ago, but does not work on the Mac. Z-Drag does the same thing and works on both Mac and Windows. [Hold down the Z key, hold down mouse button and move the mouse to draw a box. When you release, everything in the box is colored. On the Mac TrackPad, moving 3 fingers is the same as pushing the pad down while moving.

6) Show:

  — City/Town boundaries: These are a prominent magenta. They are meant to help you color in or out of the boundaries, rather than for pretty viewing.

  — Vote District lines: when you hide these the app zooms out and back in. I have found no other way to get them to go away. (I’ve tried a lot of other things.)

  — County lines are a little thicker.

7) Performance:

  — Bottom line: this takes a bunch of memory no matter what.

  — The DataGrid used to show CD data on the right panel is fairly expensive, which is why I didn’t use it for VTD tool tips.

  — Setting the tool tips has always been slow. When loading a saved DRF, I use to do them twice. That’s been fixed, but loading a large state is still slow. I intend in the future to push this to the background.

  — Silverlight 4 seems to have some memory leaks. There’s much discussion on their forums. My app may force you to upgrade to 4.0.6something, but not all is perfect.

  — Because of memory issues, I recommend refreshing your browser if you are switching a lot between states. I found that, using the 2010 data, if I did VA, then NJ, and both again, I would run out of memory. (Browser would should memory usage of 1.3GB.)

8) The Help pages are not updated yet. I’ll be working on that soon.

Thanks for your feedback. As always, let me know of bugs. Happy Redistricting!

69 thoughts on “Daves Redistricting 2.1 – 2010 Data [Updated 2]”

  1. Starting with andgarden’s comment here, where he mentions “There are some bugs though (i.e., you can’t shade the map by political data, and it seems like if you delete a whole district, its political percentages won’t show up if you redraw it).” I’ve experienced both of these issues. Reloading the map solves the second one.

    The only other bug report in that thread right now is M Riles saying “It seems a few precincts in Loudoun have no votes for Obama, which results in the App showing that McCain won the county.  Otherwise, everything seems great.” I didn’t look to confirm myself.

  2. some of the positives. App performance seemed faster to me last night when I tested out Virginia. The Bing map, in particular, seemed to be adjusting to pans and zooms more quickly. I really like the new thicker county lines. I also really appreciate having locality lines again. And the new ability to turn off all of the different sorts of lines is really nice from a posting-pictures-to-diaries perspective.

  3. I really appreciate a lot of this, it all looks great. I’ve been waiting for Virginia for so long. I would second the problem some others have mentioned where many precincts in Loudoun County (Virginia) show no votes for Obama so it appears that McCain won the county when in fact Obama won it.

  4. I actually see a map this time… but the data has been “loading” for Oregon for an hour and a half now, without progress.

    I’m almost certain it’s related to Moonlight (the open source implementation of Silverlight), and its interaction with Firefox on 64-bit systems, based on issues similar to what’s happening with Flash on Linux 64-bit browsers. (my laptop has 8GB of RAM, and less than 4 is currently in use, so that shouldn’t be an issue).

  5. You could almost use this to draw a real map in Virginia. Thanks Dave.

    I look forward to helping to sort out bugs. . .

  6. Dave, Forgive me if what API/Mapserver are you using on the back end? Also have you thought about doing big states like California & Texas as stand alone pages to help with memory issues?


  7. I updated my New Jersey diary with racial data. All of my districts’ populations are what I thought they would be, which is good news. My districts have more minorities than I thought. Without trying to create more than 2 minority-majority districts, I created 3, and almost a 4th.

  8.  Are you planning to let users be able to draw a whole county just by clicking on it instead of looking around it through all the precincts? Also, I have thought the Assign Old CDs is a bit slow.

    Overall though, I am really happy you got the census data and the partisan data! Thanks and keep up the good work!

  9. Thanks again for all the work you’ve put into this – I just have 2 comments:

    1) Aside from all the problems everyone else has encountered, I have been having issues with the statistics box being too small – I have to scroll over to see numbers, and when I go to scroll the box gets all jumpy and tries to resize but can’t. I’m using Firefox on a Macbook.

    2) You’ll have to make one last edit to MD’s data when possible. Right now, the state is retabulating the census data in order to split up the prisons and place the prisoners at their last known address, as per a new state law. Once they come out with the data, you’ll have to make that final adjustment, and then we’ll have the same data the state will use to redistrict.

  10. In both states, the total number of votes in 2008 when you view the data statewide is exactly double to what it should be.

    Additionally, after using the CTRL-Drag, the partisan data for the district used will switch to the negative millions. However, if I simply sweep to fill the districts, this does not happen. Has anyone noticed this?

  11. I guess this is a feature request, but I wonder if you might make it possible to toggle the shading so we can see the election averages on the map?

  12. I for one love your app and will try out the Virginia map once I have some free time.

    Question- is the partisan data available under App 1.0? I couldn’t find it. I don’t like to use the new version because of the panning and the auto-shading. Plus I’m a Republican and hate change.

  13. california with 2000 voting districts, then use new pop estimates, silverlight keeps crashing. i’m in firefox, and this has never happened before, but it has 4 times in a row now

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