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.