Friday, December 14, 2007

GOTV Demographics and Google Earth

Thanks to gCensus, loading demographic information into Google Earth is a relatively simple process. You can produce a Google Earth KML file to visualize demographic and socioeconomic data from the 2000 U.S. Census -- in some cases down to the census block level.

Let's say you want to pinpoint areas in Green Bay, WI for a door-to-door Latino voter registration drive. According to the 2000 census, there were over 7,000 Latinos in Green Bay. (The Census Bureau estimates that the Latino population has grown to 10,000 in 2007).

We know from the block-group level Wisconsin interactive GOTV map that neighborhoods east of the river have significant concentrations of Latinos. Click here to use the interactive map zoomed to the focus area shown in the graphic below. Areas shaded orange are 20% to 40% Latino.

The FairVote2020 interactive map shows detail only to the block group level (encompassing several city blocks), so the block-level detail available from gCensus can help focus the voter registration effort.

Below is a Google Earth graphic showing more detailed block-level data -- highlighting all census blocks in Green Bay with more than 31 persons who are Latino. These blocks are shaded tan to orange with white boundaries. The map dataset was created from Summary File 1 using the gCensus web form found here.

Click here to download the Green Bay Latino KMZ block file -- edited from the original gCensus KML file. The gCensus dataset expresses block population counts as a range, rather than a discrete count. As part of the editing process, we eliminated all but the top three ranges.

In a future post, we will examine an obvious issue -- citizenship status. According to the 2006 American Community Survey, just one-third of the 6,700 Latinos of voting age in Green Bay are citizens.

Note that in order to overlay census blocks on top of the Brown County Bush-Kerry precinct map as in the map above, we changed the altitude settings of the block file to begin displaying at 8 meters.

Because we are focusing on just a couple dozen census blocks, the KMZ file imports into Google Maps with ease.

View Larger Map

For starters, these blocks are the best areas to begin door-knocking in search of new Latino voters.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

2008 Resources

Thursday, December 6, 2007

From Google Earth to My Maps

For neighborhood-level GOTV work, the complete Brown County map displayed in the previous entry is unnecessarily large. But if you have installed Google Earth, you can work with bite-size chunks.

Click on "View Larger Map" in the Brown County Bush-Kerry map, then click on "View in Google Earth".

Start Google Earth and open the Brown_WI.kmz file. Next zoom in to the area of the county where you want to focus your efforts. In the Google Earth graphic below, the view is zoomed to part of Green Bay.

Add a folder under My Places called Green Bay. Next use Ctrl-Left Click on the Brown_WI.kmz map to identify the voting districts of interest. Use Ctrl-Right Click to copy and paste each ward to the Green Bay folder. (You can also copy and paste from the sidebar, without using the map.) Finally, go to the sidebar and copy the legend folder in Brown_WI.kmz to the Green Bay folder.

Save the Green Bay folder as a .kmz file. Go to Google My Maps and select "Create New Map". Next select "Import" and upload the .kmz file from your computer. Your map should look something like this:

View Larger Map

And you are now ready to overlay your own data -- for example, geocoded placemarks showing newly registered voters.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Brown County, WI (Bush-Kerry)

View Larger Map

Will Google Maps become a serious neighborhood-level tool for campaigns and voter registration drives in 2008?

It seems easy enough. Just save a base map to Google My Maps, then create an overlay or two with your own data. With Google's new collaboration tool, you can share and edit GOTV maps with coworkers, friends, and volunteers. You can make it public or keep it private.

The map above shows precinct-level results for the 2004 presidential contest in Brown County, Wisconsin. The county has 170 election districts or wards. With so many election districts, the Brown County map tests the limits of Internet Explorer, but displays quickly using Firefox.

To save the Brown County Bush-Kerry map to Google My Maps, click on "View Larger Map".

Saturday, December 1, 2007

10,000 Maps Plus

We produced 30 interactive maps and over 10,000 Adobe PDF precinct maps leading up to the 2004 general election.

Since then, we've updated the interactive maps with precinct-level data for California, Georgia, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin (plus Maine and Michigan townships).

We'll add more states where we can find statewide precinct-level geographic databases that match the 2004 election results, but in most cases this is not possible. Some additional states may become available as the 2008 election approaches.

Note that several other state map applications include 2002 through early 2004 precinct/precinct proxy voter data -- Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

We've updated the interactive maps with party affiliation maps for Congress and state legislatures to reflect the 2006 election.

Finally, you can now see a Google Map of the area you are viewing on an interactive map. (Google Maps did not exist at the time of the 2004 election.)

For example, click on the graphic below to use a Google Map as an entry viewport to the Georgia GOTV Mapper. Click on FairData (This Win.) or FairData (New Win.) to open the thematic interactive map.

You can switch back and forth by clicking on the balloon icons (representing various zoom levels) beneath the map image on the FairData interactive map.

2004 Precinct KMZ Files

We have produced statewide precinct files in Google Earth KMZ format for eight states -- California, Georgia, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. You can download them from the Google Earth Community forum.

The precinct boundaries are those in effect for the 2004 election. The maps are themed to show the vote percentages for Bush-Kerry (excluding third party votes).

Use CTRL-Click on the map to display a balloon popup with the voting stats for a specific precinct surrounding or near the clicked point or click on the placemark icon.

Allow some time for the files to load. Except for New Hampshire, the statewide files are way too large for display in Google Maps. However, as we will explain in the next few posts, they can be imported into Google Maps in a piecemeal fashion.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Illustrative Non-metropolitan Latino-majority Election Districts

We have examined the potential for Latino-majority election districts in about 120 local jurisdictions and developed draft voting plans in 80 of them.

These are hypothetical plans developed for Latino communities in nonmetro or exurban areas which have experienced dramatic demographic change in the past decade

The voting plans are restricted to areas with populations greater than 2,000 that are at least 20% Latino according to the 2000 census -- and exclude places in Florida, California, and the Southwest.

Most plans are for municipalities or school districts. In many instances, we have incomplete information on annexations, incumbents, and election history. All plans comply with one-person, one-vote requirements.

The illustrative election plans are displayed on Google Maps. To access the plans, select a state from the list below.

Click on a link from the directory and the Google Map will open with a collapsible sidebar showing population stats for one or more potential majority-Latino districts. You can also click the balloon markers on the Google Map to see district population stats. Click the KML link above the map to view with Google Earth.

The plans are based on census-block level data from the 2000 census. The Census Bureau will release updated census block population counts in 2011 upon completion of the 2010 census.

Information on citizenship status is not available at the census block level. Estimated voting age Latino citizenship percentages by district are available upon request.

You can review neighborhood level (block group) citizenship status (and other 2000 census variables) on FairData's SocioEcon Mapper.

If you need a specific plan -- even for areas outside the initial target states -- just contact us and we'll move it to the top of the list.

District-based election plans are not the only way to enhance Latino participation and representation. See the Center for Voting and Democracy for information on alternative election systems.

Between 2001 and 2006, over 175 election plans (multiple drafts) in 20 states were developed by the FairPlan project -- primarily at the request of African-American and Native American groups involved in local level redistricting. We testified in federal court or were deposed in about 15 redistricting lawsuits during this time period and provided technical assistance in a dozen others.

Technical Note: Boundaries are not precise due to minor discrepancies between Google streets and Census Bureau block geography. Accurate geographic files are available offline.

The plans were prepared with
Maptitude for Redistricting and converted to Google Earth using Marcelo Luna's excellent Area2GE add-in for Maptitude.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Legislative Mapper

FairData has developed an interactive map showing child poverty rates by current state legislative districts. Additional legislative district maps show other socio-economic data from the 2000 census, as well as party affiliation as of January 2007.

Change maps by clicking the drop-down menu under "Compare Maps" to the left of the map image. Click on the INFO tool and then click on the map to retrieve census data for the various geographic layers in a pop-up window. Or click on ZOOM TO and then click on the map -- summary data for the district selected will appear in a table below the map.

To display congressional boundaries, streets, etc., you must check the relevant display box below the map image, then click the Redraw button.

Note that in several states -- Arizona, Idaho, New Jersey, Nebraska (unicameral), Washington, District of Columbia (wards), and North Dakota -- upper chamber boundaries are the same as the lower chamber.

A 2006 court-ordered modification to Senate and House Districts 21, 26, and 27 in South Dakota is not reflected in the maps. (The plan was drafted by FairPlan for a Sec. 2 lawsuit)

Upper Chamber Mapper

Lower Chamber Mapper

Map 1 (Default) -- Population Under 18 Below Poverty

Map 2 -- Population Below Poverty (All ages)

Map 3 -- Median Household Income (1999)

Map 4 -- Population Under 19 Below 185% Poverty Level (Free/Reduced Meal Eligible)

Source: USDA and Special Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) Block Group Sample Data, estimates by FairData

Map 5 -- Percent Minority (any race and Latino)

Map 6 -- Sec. 203 Language Map -- (Voting Rights Act language minority 18+)

This thematic map shows voting age non-English speakers who do not speak English "very well". This category includes all non-English speakers 18 and over who speak English "well", "not well", or "not at all".

Map 7 -- Party Affiliation of Incumbent (2007)

Note: Incumbent and party affiliation data are from early 2007. There are nearly 7,500 legislators nationwide, so changes occur every month. Party affiliation is more stable than the name of incumbent.

Source: State legislature websites, January 2007.

Map 8 -- Foreign Born Non-citizen Population (any race or ethnicity, all ages)

Map 9 -- Percent Latino (all races)

Map 10 -- Percent African-American (single race, all ages)

Map 11 -- Percent American Indian (single race, all ages)

Map 12 -- Percent Asian-American (single race, all ages)

Map 13 -- Housing Tenure (renters and homeowners)

Map 14 -- Population 25 and over without a high school degree

Map 15 -- Population Ages 21-64 with a disability

Map 16 -- Households with Social Security Income

Map 17a -- Correctional Population by State Senate District

Map 17b -- Correctional Population by State House District

Map 18 -- Bush-Kerry by County (Head-to-Head Contest)

At a scale of about 200 miles, green labels show votes cast for the two major party candidates by county. For total votes cast and votes by candidate (all parties), click the INFO button and then on a county. The election data can be accessed from the pop-up window under "County (Elections)".

This map does not display election returns below the county level.

Source: Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections, 12/03/04.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Thematic Google Maps

We can overlay any thematic voter registration/GOTV map onto Google Maps. For small areas, maps can be displayed directly like this illustrative voting plan for Otero County, Colorado.

View Larger Map

For large areas, voting maps can be tiled like this block group-level regional median income map.