“Google + GIS maps help shed light on gerrymandering”

The following is a guest post from Joseph Elfelt:

Google + GIS maps help shed light on gerrymandering

Like so many others, last year’s election caused me to wonder how I could best volunteer some time toward civic improvement.  Somehow I got to reading articles on gerrymandering and reviewing various online state and federal district maps.  It quickly became apparent that there was a need for high quality online state and federal district maps that worked well on any device and had a consistent look and feel.

Fortunately I happen to be a software developer in the field of online maps.  And I had a running start on this project since several years ago I launched an enhanced Google map viewer called Gmap4.  So early this year I took on the task of adding features to Gmap4 so anyone can easily display high quality state legislature or congressional district maps.  Recently that work went ‘live’.

There are two ways to see the maps.  Below are a few examples.  For more information please open any of these maps and then click “Map Tips” in the upper left corner.

Method #1 – Parameters in the link

Display Wisconsin state house districts:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?t=m&state=WI,house

Display Virginia state senate districts with #28 highlighted:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?t=m&state=VA,senate,28

Display North Carolina congressional districts:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?t=m&congress=NC

Display Maryland congressional districts and highlight #6:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?t=h&congress=MD,6

Method #2 – Basemap button

1. Open Gmap4. https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?t=m
2. Click or tap the basemap button (next to the “Menu” button).
3. Look under the “Overlay” heading. Mobile users need to scroll down.
4. Select “State_legislature_districts” or “Congress_house_districts”.

Click a district and a popup will appear with information about the person(s) elected to represent that district.

Among other things, the “Map Tips” show how to turn geolocation on and how to search on an address.

One of the next things I plan to do is to update the congress maps so they have the same look-and-feel as the state maps.

Got questions?  The “Map Tips” include a link to my contact page.

Joseph Elfelt
Redmond, WA

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