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May 19, 2011

45

Draw Your Map

Virgin River

Make your populations balance, keep communities together, if possible, and try, in good faith, not to stack districts in favor of people you like.  It’s not as easy as you might think.

First, you’ll want to get familiar with the ground rules.  Then . . .

Hello Awesome

Utahns can now draw maps to the strict parameters demanded by the redistricting process, share those maps on social networks, and present the work to the Redistricting Committee in a compatible format.  You can also review and comment on map ideas submitted by others.

Click here to get started.

Our partner in this endeavor is ESRI, whose stellar staff have developed some pretty cool tools.  The online dashboard sports an intricate but user-friendly interface and easy navigation to help people build detailed Utah redistricting plans.  Instructions and FAQs for using the online tool are provided within the program itself.

This is fairly unprecedented.  We’re excited to see how it goes.

Reports:

Billy Hesterman: Redistricting committee launches site for public-drawn maps

Whittney Evans: Do it yourself redistricting software released

Lee Davidson: Utahns can take redistricting into their own hands

Read more from Maps, Your Map
  • Pingback: Ground Rules | Redistrict Utah

  • Guest

    When is the software going to be available to the public.  I would like to bring a suggestion to the statewide meetings.

    • http://twitter.com/RicCantrell Ric Cantrell

      Great.  We’ll demo the new software tonight, at the public hearing in Layton, and should have it up and running online next Wednesday or Thursday.

      You can bring your map to any of the public hearings or submit it to the committee online.

  • Anonymous

    The software bid was due on April 15th. The demo software was first shown on May 4th. How could it possibly take over a month to work out final details of a contract or any software problems? Or maybe the question really is – how adequate of a company is ESRI if they can’t provide what you asked for in a timely manner?

    You have invited citizen input and paid $80K to allow us to make maps like you can with your software. But it is still not available to voters!

    This is fiscally irresponsible and very frustrating to voters attempting to participate in an important issue that will affect citizens for the next decade.

    If this were a high school or college assignment – you would have failed.

    • http://twitter.com/RicCantrell Ric Cantrell

      Sue – thank you for paying attention. On this issue, no one is more aware or more frustrated than we are. The contract negotiations took way more time than we expected. On the positive side, ESRI has been a stellar partner in the detailed configuration and hosting process. In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have built up expectations by announcing so early, but we were (and still are) very excited about the new technology.

      The summer has just begun. We’re still very early in the process. We have over a dozen public hearings yet to host, plus additional committee meetings, and a Special Session later in the year. You haven’t missed your opportunity to be fully engaged in this process. I’m glad you are interested and am looking forward to seeing your maps. – Ric (Senate Staff)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=17832050 Scotty Riding

      Software is hard, and it rarely ships on time. That’s why major companies like Apple don’t announce anything until it is done. Those who make the mistake of announcing dates inevitably miss them.

      I for one am pleased that ESRI was able to pull this together so quickly.

  • Anonymous

    Any idea when the map system will be up?  I would like to take a look at the things the committee is talking about.

    • http://twitter.com/RicCantrell Ric Cantrell

      The map configuration will be complete later today.  If all goes as planned, you’ll be able to draw maps tomorrow.   If you want to view maps the committee has discussed so far, click on…

      http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2011&Com=SPERDT

      … then click on the ‘Related Materials’ links in the far-right column.  Thanks for paying attention.

  • Anonymous

    I live in St. George and would like to use the software prior to the Legislative Hearing on Sat. at 3:00 p.m. Will this be possible?  

  • Anonymous

    I live in St. George and would like to use the software prior to the Legislative Hearing on Sat. at 3:00 p.m. Will this be possible?

    • http://twitter.com/RicCantrell Ric Cantrell

      Yes.  The software configuration should be complete tonight or tomorrow a.m.   Looking forward to seeing your map!

  • Ricky

    Why spend all this money for a cool software system that’s STILL not available!  The public meeting is in St. George this Saturday and we don’t have access yet.  They want to pretend we have input, but we really don’t.  Just like it always is, huh?

  • Anonymous

    The software seems to now be working. How do you get a hard copy of a map?
    Can you select using cities
    vs County/Precincts and Census Blocks?
    Can you save a map offline?

    • Chris McClelland

      You can export your map to various file formats from the File tab inside the online tool.  The most logical choice for export format is a JPEG image file (fixed text format and shape files are used in commercial mapping software).  It takes a snapshot of what you are currently viewing in the tool.  KML files can be viewed in Google Maps and Google Earth.

      Unfortunately, you can only select by county/vtd/block.  However, you can enable a reference layer that shows city boundaries by clicking on the arrow on the left side of the screen (blue arrow, white background).  This pulls up Map Contents.  In Map Contents, click on the arrow by Utah_ReferenceLayers, click on the arrow by Census 2010, then enable municipalities.  You can use this to help you select blocks that fall within city boundaries.

      You can save a plan offline by clicking on the Save Local button under the File tab.  You should then be able to open a saved plan by clicking on the Open Local button.

      Chris (Legislative Staff)

      • Anonymous

        Thank You. I didn’t look far enough under the options with the blue arrow on the left. That works. Even though I can’t select by City overlay, knowing where the city lines is helpful, as if you can use a city boundary, why not. Sometimes they line up with the voting districts, but they always line up with the census blocks.

        Under File, Exporting to a .jpg file works. I can print one of them from my computer.

        If you want to export or import to the non-public “legislature” software, what file format do you use? Is that the shape file? If someone decides they line my maps, but wants to tweak them for committee discussion, It would be nice to send them a file for them to import and use.

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  • Pingback: Public Hearings | Redistrict Utah

  • Jimi

    Dixie deserves its own congressional district! Southern Utah is not SLC

    • http://www.facebook.com/DaveGarber1975 David Edward Garber

      I like this idea and, so, I tried to give St. George its own district in my proposals, but southern Utah isn’t sufficiently populated yet, so I had to include Provo/Orem at its northern end.  If Dixie keeps growing so relatively-quickly and/or if Utah ever merits a fifth U.S. Congressional district, then perhaps St. George won’t need to share its district with other population centers anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/secretagentjoni Joni L. Hilliard-Crane

    Hello, I created a map this last week and submitted it “Crane Rural County Representation” or something like that. I cannot find where I can see it now or make a copy to be analyzed by the Utah GOP with their analyzing software. How do I make this happen?

    • Chris McClelland

      You can open any submitted plan by clicking “Open” in the File tab, click “Shared Plans,” click “Everyone,” then find your plan in the displayed list of plans.  Once you have opened the submitted plan, there are various export options.  Click on the File tab and there is an export button on the far right of the tab.  I’m not sure what type of file you need, but the most likely candidate is the “fixed text format” file type.  This is also known as a block assignment file.  If you have any more questions, feel free to post here or send an email to redistrictutah@utah.gov.

      Chris (Legislative Staff)

  • Lyla D Love

    And the instruction manual is where?

    • Chris McClelland

      There are two main sources for technical help within the online tool: the Learn tab (the first screen you see when you sign in) and the online help utility located at the upper right-hand side of the screen (a small, circled question mark).  In addition to these resources, technical support questions about the online tool can be directed to the email address redistrictutah@utah.gov.

      Chris (Legislative Staff)

  • DaveGarber1975

    So…  I made some proposals and then submitted them.  Now what?  When might they get discussed in meetings or perhaps even posted on this site?

    • http://www.facebook.com/DaveGarber1975 David Edward Garber

      Thank you for posting so many submissions this week, including mine!

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  • Anonymous

    I have completed my map and have two problems.  The first is that I first put Antelope Island in District 13 then changed it to District 15 and made 15 continuous with the island.  The problem is that a small portion of the south end of the Island seems to be locked into thirteen causing the software to throw a discontinuous district error when I run the ‘review’ option.  I’ve tried using the unlock feature, I’ve tried to change it back to ‘unassigned’, everything, but nothing I’ve done has made it possible for me the change that district designation for this very small area.

    The second problem is that when I run the ‘review option’ and get a ‘nul designation’ warning, I click on the ‘nul’ catagory and the software throws me out to a full state view but will not zoom in to show me where the ‘nul’ areas are located. 

    Both these problems are keeping me from being able to submit a fully compliant map.  HELP!

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  • Anonymous

    Latest software problem.  When I click on the ‘find unassigned geographies binoculars after the program searches for a while I get an error message back that says, ‘Server fault occured while finding unassigned geographies’.  This software appears to be really buggy.  Any suggestions?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DaveGarber1975 David Edward Garber

    I updated some of my plan’s names, as well as their descriptions.  I submitted two proposals prematurely and don’t know what to do about this.  I don’t know if you have procedures yet for such matters.  Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DaveGarber1975 David Edward Garber

    I’ve felt very pleased, overall, with this software.  I learned to use it very easily.  I’ve noticed very few glitches with it, as well, and none of them have caused me any significant delays, although I’m sad that some others haven’t been as fortunate in this respect.  So, I applaud ESRI for their excellent work on this software.  My only major suggestion for its improvement would be for it to make both county and municipal information (perhaps including neighborhoods) more readily accessible so that (1) both county lines and city limits are more visible in its workspace, (2) its identification tool is enhanced to identify entire counties and display their total population, and (3) this same tool, when identifying individual precincts, lists each precinct’s associated city and county.  I had to use Google Maps (plus a good eye for comparing outlines) to figure out each city’s boundaries in Salt Lake County, which wasn’t as easy as I would have liked.

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  • Vitamking

    some people aren’t even being counted,that makes no since.and we are not equal.yes thats what i said.and my grandfather had a uniform on,and no i am not a maid,or a nanny and i never have been .this isn’t the 50s and the 60s.and my grandfather  has been dead.no i am not sad about,it,hell i,am glad he doesn’t have to see or hear this shit that goes on now.after all he did.and my other grandfather has been dead too.he is the reason the trains,can run,the way that they do,from state to state ,and no he didn’t work on them.a very tall man,hair like silk,and so was his skinn.and he wasn’t a yes man either.i am glad or hear what is going on in 2011 after all he did . Where is the USA,i know i am in the USA,but Where is it? Miss Vita Michelle King

  • Lesaycock

    I am asuming since there are no more links to create a map that the committee has already decided on the map they want.

  • Jamiedutson2

    I have questions about trying to include rural areas in with the urban. As someone who grew up in rural Utah near Delta, I am concerned that by doing so, representatives will be more likely to be voted in interest of the big cities and the needs of small towns will be left by the wayside. Wouldn’t it be better to have a representative that represents mostly rural utah and others to represent the more populated cities?