Thursday, August 6, 2009

Washington State is complete, and project update

I would like to announce a major milestone for the Maps and History project of the Washington State Democratic Chairs Organization. Roger Crew, our Maps project lead, has completed his collection of precinct shape files for all 39 counties in the state of Washington. The maps are viewable on our website here:

This project began in 2006, when I figured out a way to include the maps that Roger had been working on with the Election History data pages that Fred Morris had developed. We have gotten help along the way by many of the local party chairs, and Ben Johnstone-Anderson and Michael Snyder joined our efforts and did a lot of legwork getting the shapefiles. Thanks to everyone!

The Maps project will continue as we gather updates, and we will be very active over the next two years as the US Census does their work and the counties work on redistricting based on the new population data.

There are 6732 precincts in the database now if you want to use the number. We started in early 2007, won the Blogpac contest which was broadcast all over the country, I went to Netroots Nation in '08 to talk about it, I went to the 2008 Washington GIS Conference to speak about it, and I'm making contact with other states to ask how they are doing and what we can do. It's interesting, because we reached 100% coverage in Washington nearly two years to the day of my submitting the project for consideration to Chris Bowers of and Blogpac. Our next step is to do an inventory of the election history data that we have, that we can get, and figure out how to make use of it all. I'm looking forward to seeing the project grow.

Here is the project history, as you can find it on the Blogosphere:


Here's a video put together with Emmett O'Connell with some older maps that I had put together in 2005 showing how representation had changed in the Washington State Legislative Districts between 2002 and 2004:

This is where I want to go, showing election results on the maps themselves using data and KML. That's the eventual goal.

There are other groups around the country working on similar projects as well. Here are some highlights:

Have ideas? Want to help us collect data for the rest of the country? Contact me, and let's put this country on the map.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What we should have had today

We needed a Google Map with the following information:

Polling locations
Ballot drop boxes
Post offices w/ closing times
Mailboxes w/ pickup times
Address search like the caucus location map
Local voter alert phone numbers, and the location of the staging locations

type in an address or click on the map, and it shows you all the above information.

2009, here we come.

Zipcodes, too cool!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Adams County Precincts


Although there are some questions about how useful the Census Voting District Maps are for our purposes, they seem to be the only available shapefiles I can find, so I'm going to run with them until we find something better.

Election History

The Secretary of State's office hosted the Auditor's pages for a while, at least long enough for Google to grab cached copies of them. Good enough for us.

First step, download the voting district map. Open that up in MapWindow GIS. Go to Color Scheme, and set the attribute to County, and give a red color to any shape where county = 001, meaning Adams. Here is the result:

I'm trying to figure out how to open and manipulate the .dbf file that comes with shapefiles. I've tried OpenOffice Calc, and I can open the file and change it, but when I save it the format gets screwed up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Clark County Election Results

Looks like they have a lot of good information here that we can use.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


The term 'Netroots' is new on the political scene. It refers to people who are engaged, educated and empowered in politics thanks to the Internet.

This blog will feature posts that describe the needs, desires and dreams of the Netroots community that would make our activism easier and more effective. Comments are welcome and encouraged! Please post your ideas and any links that you would like to share.