Blogs > 37th Frame

Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cool tools: Fun with legislative maps

Is your legislative district gerrymandered? We have some pretty odd-shaped districts here in Pennsylvania, and other states are known for some, er, creative map making.

An online database, uses map-based geometry to rank Congressional and state legislative districts. Here is a screen shot for the 13th District of Pennsylvania:

The map itself shows the highlighted district, and the bar charts on the right rank the shape of the district using several geometry-based formulas (which are explained). Districts that rank 'low' on these charts MIGHT be gerrymandered - other factors play into districting, of course (for example, Cape Cod ranks pretty low, but the ocean probably has something to do with that).

This is a good basis for questioning and research.

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