Esri Redistricting Blog

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Esri Contributor


If transparency and public engagement are important elements in your community, be sure to watch this recording and learn how Esri Redistricting, a complete software solution for redistricting, can make the redistricting process easier for you.

 

#Esriredistricting redistricting redistrictingplans #transparency, gerrymandering

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Esri Contributor

1. Which browsers are officially supported by the Esri Redistricting software?

Safari, Firefox, MS Edge, and Chrome.  IE 11 will not be supported moving forward.

2. Can I use my own boundary for my Redistricting process, or do I need to use the standard Census data?

  • No, if using the single-seat (SaaS) implementation via ArcGIS online, however you can use your custom data as reference.
  • Yes, if using the on-Premise or Managed Cloud Services version; the data can be customized to fit your redistricting solution as needed.

3. If using a Managed Cloud Services Redistricting solution, what is the standard infrastructure for a single server setup?

  • Standard data storage is up to 500 GB
  • Single cloud ArcGIS Server with 4 virtual computing units and 32 GB of Virtual memory
  • Hosting period 12 months
  • Up to 100 active users
  • Target system availability = 95%
  • Full weekly backups (incremental daily backups)
  • Long term backup for 30 days
  • Daily syncs with your data into your Cloud instance
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 (or newer) operating system
  • ArcGIS Enterprise licensing
  • System Monitoring 24/7 with Esri COTS hosted software
  • Operation support 24/7 from MCS

4. What is the advantage of using Esri redistricting solution vs. competitor software?

  • Esri's Redistricting solution is a web-based solution that requires no software installation and is scale-able based on total users.
  • Esri’s Enterprise Redistricting solution allows public participation in the redistricting process to ensure full transparency to the public.

5. Can a "Plan Population" summary report be exported to CSV or other formats for additional analysis? 

  • There is not an "export to CSV" option; however, you can export to an Excel file, then "Save as" CSV".
  • Other export formats are available such as HTML, PDF, and Excel files. 

6. Can all plans be exported to shapefile and block equivalency files all at once?

  • No, there is no bulk export of shapefiles or block equivalency files function.
  • Only single exports of each redistricting plan are available currently. 

7. Can I use my existing ArcGIS Online account for the Redistricting trial software?

  • No. To use the free 21-day trial, you need to create a new ArcGIS Online account using the activation email you receive after submitting the form.
  • If you want to use an existing ArcGIS Online account, please reach out to your Esri Account Manager and/or customer service representative and request to activate a Redistricting evaluation and provision licenses to the app via ArcGIS Online.

8. What is the difference between the free Districting for ArcGIS ArcMap extension vs. the Esri Redistricting SaaS option? 

Districting for ArcGIS

Esri Redistricting SaaS version

Requires ArcMap

Up-to-date web browser

Not menu driven – no UI

Robust UI specifically for political redistricting.

Does not ship with Census P.L. data

Comes with past and current P.L. 94-171 data

Required GIS background and experience

GIS experience not required

Can work with other polygon data, such as work zones, school attendance zones, Police Beats.

Is locked to P.L. data.  Can create other districts but only based on Census geography.

Free, but requires ArcMap

SaaS pricing = $4,500

Users must provide their own data to complete a district plan or boundary

Access to Esri Living Atlas and ArcGIS Online via Esri Redistricting app

No Esri support or active product development

SaaS version has Esri support included

 

9. Does Esri Redistricting handle a large number of users if my jurisdiction requires public participation (ex: 2000 users)?   

The foundation of Esri Redistricting resides upon ArcGIS Enterprise. The Esri Redistricting solution was designed such that the browser client does most of the heavy lifting which reduces the load on the ArcGIS Server in the background. Because of this, the Esri Redistricting application won't be the bottleneck in the system architecture. If there is concern over the number of users accessing the software, it may be suggested that an additional 4-core server be included to allow your system to auto-scale if necessary.

#esri redistricting#redistricting#gerrymandering#transparency

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Esri Contributor

If transparency and public engagement are important elements in your community, be sure to sign up for the upcoming webinar and learn how Esri Redistricting, a complete software solution for redistricting, can make the redistricting process easier for you.

Webinar title: Delivering a Modern Redistricting Solution

Webinar date: October 28, 2020 | 10 am - 11 am PDT

Sign up here


#Esriredistricting redistricting redistrictingplans #transparency, gerrymandering

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New Contributor III

For those of you interested in trying out the Esri Redistricting application, you can head over to the Free Trial page and fill out the "Try Esri Redistricting" form to get access to a trial of ArcGIS Online, which includes licensing for Esri Redistricting. Below is a walk-through of the trial process:

  1. Fill out the form on the Redistricting Free trial page to request a trial of ArcGIS Online and Esri Redistricting. After completing and submitting form, a confirmation appears on the page and activation link is sent to email provided in the form.

  2. Go to your inbox for the email that you provided in the form, and find the activation email that was sent from Esri. Click-through the activation link in that email.

  3. Create your ArcGIS Online account by filling out the account creation form. After finishing and clicking the "create my account" button, you should be redirected to the organizational setup page (below), as well as receive another email confirming your ArcGIS Online account is now set up. Finish filling out that organizational details page and hit "Save and Continue."

  4. Now that your organization is setup, you can close out of the modal that pops up (below) and navigate to the "Licenses" section of the "Organization" page. Then scroll down to "Redistricting Online" and hit the 'manage' button.

         

  5. In the "Manage: Redistricting Online" pop-up window, you will have 2 Redistricting app licenses to give to your organizational accounts. Turn on licenses for accounts that need access to Redistricting by selecting the switch to the right of the users name so that the color turns from grey to blue (as shown below). An optional pop-up will also appear asking if you want to email the member about the new license. 

  6. Now your accounts should see "Redistricting Online" in the app launcher tray at the top-right of the screen, as shown below. Select the Redistricting Online icon to launch Esri Redistricting (or navigate to the page directly via this link: Esri Redistricting Online 

     

  7. Now select "Sign in to ArcGIS.com" and enter the ArcGIS Online username and password you've created, select "Agree" on the Licensing agreement pop-up, and you can begin to use your Esri Redistricting trial.

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Esri Contributor

Esri provides software and services needed to help you set up Esri Redistricting and develop your staff capabilities. Several options are available for delivering the necessary enablement services through implementation services and technical knowledge transfer.

 

Esri Redistricting can be deployed in three ways depending on your organization’s needs. For each deployment option, you can request additional days of onsite training and knowledge transfer for your organization. Note that, the implementation approach provided below can be adjusted to meet your specific needs.

 

     The Esri Redistricting application includes a host of integrity checks and reports for analyzing potential redistricting plans

 

Option 1: Software‐as‐a‐Service (SaaS)

 

When you deploy Esri Redistricting as a SaaS solution, you can access Esri Redistricting in the cloud, entirely hosted and maintained by Esri. You don’t need to install or maintain any software or hardware—instead, you simply log in to your ArcGIS account in a web browser. The SaaS option provides access to all functionality of the solution, including the default Census demographic data, geographies, and the ability to add content from accessible ArcGIS web services. 

 

The SaaS version of Esri Redistricting is available for purchase on a per-user basis from ArcGIS Marketplace with a 15-day free trial option.

 

 Option 2: On‐Premises Deployment

 

With this option, Esri Redistricting is hosted at your facility, giving you the flexibility to integrate custom variables, units, or demographics. Prior to arriving onsite, Esri Professional Services experts will work with your team to pre-configure appropriate Census data, your custom data, and other configuration parameters. Once onsite, our experts will install and configure the solution stack on your infrastructure, conduct a technology transfer for administrators who are qualified to manage the Esri Redistricting application, and help facilitate ongoing support and maintenance of the solution.

 

The instance will be hosted and managed by you. You have full control over adding users, customizing the solution, and managing the application. This option also enables you to engage your community by allowing citizens to submit redistricting plans (read about how Utah State Legislature utilized Esri Redistricting to add citizen input into their redistricting process).

 
You will provide the first point of contact (Tier 1 helpdesk support) to your end users to address any operational use or technical issues with Esri Redistricting. This support consists of answering user questions, replicating and reviewing reported issues, addressing solution use or training requirements (if appropriate), and documenting and communicating validated technical issues to Esri technical support staff (Tier 2 support).

      Esri Redistricting utilizes the trusted ArcGIS platform allowing you to leverage existing GIS investments

 

Option 3: Esri Managed Cloud Services Deployment (Managed Services)

 

This deployment option offers Esri Managed Cloud Services for customers who do not have IT staff that are experienced in supporting enterprise GIS systems. The solution is completely web-based and does not require you to manage or maintain infrastructure and resources including software, hardware, and data components.

 

Esri’s Managed Cloud Services team will create, host and manage an instance of Esri Redistricting for you, configured with the appropriate Census data, your custom data, and other configuration parameters. The instance will provide external HTTP access to Esri Redistricting, operational hosting and monitoring, and troubleshooting for technical support incidents through Tier 2 hosted environment support.

 

This deployment option will address the following service level targets to support your operational requirements:

 

  1.       24x7 system access
  2.       95% system availability
  3.       Hosting environment to support up to 20 concurrent users
  4.       Up to 500 GB of custom data storage
  5.       Data backup and archive
  6.       Annual update of custom data
  7.       24x7 system monitoring and Tier 2 hosted environment support 

 

You will provide the first point of contact (Tier 1 helpdesk support) to your end users to address any operational use or technical issues with Esri Redistricting. This support consists of answering user questions, replicating and reviewing reported issues, addressing solution use or training requirements (if appropriate), and documenting and communicating validated technical issues to Esri technical support staff (Tier 2 hosted environment support).

 

Interested in Esri Redistricting? Comment below and we will get in touch with you.

 

 

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Esri Contributor

In a previous blog, we introduced you to Esri Redistricting. Today, let’s talk about some of the key features of this product.

 

Esri Redistricting provides an interactive Web‐based application that focuses on creating and maintaining redistricting plans. This app, based on ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS API for Flex, provides a rich Internet application (RIA) user experience. Planners and decision makers get a common operating picture and the sophisticated geospatial analysis tools necessary to perform work related to the complex issue of redistricting. 

With Esri Redistricting these are just some of the functions you can perform: 

Plan Creation and Editing

Esri Redistricting is an Internet Web solution with a straightforward map-centric interface that provides easy‐to‐use tools and simple step-by-step workflow for creating, editing, viewing and sharing redistricting plans. It is geared toward ushering expert and non-expert users through the redistricting process. 

You can:

  • Delineate district boundaries using census geographies (blocks, block groups, tracts, counties or blocks, VTDs, counties)
  • Monitor demographics of critical geography selections and visualize their impact to a district profile
  • Direct or two‐step district assignment of user‐selected geographies
  • Lock or unlock district assignments to a selected geography
  • Undo / redo district assignment history to a plan’s last save point
  • Prevent geographies from being assigned to more than one district, as well as identifying areas that have yet to be assigned to a district
  • Supports contiguous and non‐contiguous district definitions

Census and Custom Geography Data

The Redistricting application is complete with preprocessed census data—2000, 2010 TIGER, Public Law (P.L.) 94‐171, and 2020 census data (when available). Esri offers an optional data service package to support clients with integration of custom data sets supplied by the client. The add‐on data is integrated into Esri Redistricting data store before the solution is brought online for your organization. The following is supported: 

  • Pre‐deployment, customer‐provided data in ArcGIS‐supported formats (TIGER/Line shapefile, shapefile, file geodatabase)
  • Census TIGER data (geography files) for 2000, 2010 and 2020 (when available)
  • Census geography definitions (blocks, block groups, tracts, counties or blocks, VTDs, counties)
  • Census P.L. 94‐171 population attribute data (race, ethnicity, etc.) related to census geographies

Map Navigation

The following map viewer navigation features are supported by Esri Redistricting: 

  • Zoom in / zoom out by bounding box
  • Zoom in / zoom out by scale slider
  • Zoom in / zoom out by mouse wheel
  • Zoom to address
  • Zoom to selection
  • Zoom to ZIP Code
  • Zoom to place name
  • Zoom to latitude / longitude
  • Zoom to district by name
  • Zoom to unassigned geographies
  • Zoom to selected geographies
  • Overview map navigation

Mashups

Esri Redistricting supports the following map viewer mashup capabilities and augments the online redistricting plan map with easy–to‐use overlays of auxiliary data: 

  • Add maps from ArcGIS Online (street maps, satellite imagery, terrain, topographic, etc.)
  • Add map resources hosted by your organization or other organizations through ArcGIS Enterprise
  • Plot uploaded addresses (such as incumbents’ residences) or coordinate‐based data (CSV, Excel, shapefile) 

Redlining

Esri Redistricting supports the following redlining or mark‐up capabilities to redistricting maps: 

  • Add user‐defined notes
  • Add user‐defined shapes (points, lines, polygons, circles, and arrows)
  • Add graphic image files (for example GIF, JPEG, PNG) 

Feature Selection

Esri Redistricting supports geographic feature selection capabilities for assignment of features to a district: 

  • Select by attribute (Query Builder)
  • Select by point
  • Select by user drawn box, polygon, line, polyline, circle
  • Select by district name
  • Select unassigned districts
  • Select by proximity (feet, yards, miles, meters, kilometers)
  • Select by spatial overlay (for example, select by another layer’s spatial geography) with an optional attribute filter 

Plan Publication and Sharing

Esri Redistricting seamlessly integrates with ArcGIS Online to support accessibility restrictions for public group or private access. This solution provides access to a plan online, reducing the need for paper map production. The supported capabilities include: 

  • Sharing redistricting plans between users and groups. Users can be legislators, advocacy groups, and team members of the Reapportionment Office.
  • Publishing plans to ArcGIS Online, with the capability to leverage all capabilities provided by ArcGIS Online on the plan, including secure access to groups.

Data Export

Esri Redistricting provides the ability to export plans to a variety of formats for sharing with other systems and applications. The following are supported: 

  • Export redistricting plans (PDF, text / ASCII, file geodatabase, etc.)
  • Export reports (text / ASCII, CSV, Excel)
  • Export plans to DOJ/OMB format (block assignments) 

Printing

To support workflows that require paper and PDF reports and maps, the following printing options are supported by Esri Redistricting: 

  • Print tabular reports based on census geographies and census data
  • Print maps to predefined templates with basic map information
  • Production of multipage redistricting plan map books
  • Print to all standard paper sizes: E‐size, B‐size, letter size, plotter size, 8 ½” x 11” 

Plan Integrity

There are a number a data quality checks contained in Esri Redistricting, including: 

  • Checks that the total number of districts required by the plan is enforced
  • Cross check to prevent a geography assignment to more than one district
  • Cross checks to ensure summation of district populations matches client population totals
  • Check validates districts have contiguous geographies (optional)
  • Check for plan compactness
  • Check for district(s) that violate allowable population deviation

Reporting

Reporting is supported by the solution at two levels: 1) a statistics table that reflects working census demographics by district, updated upon each geography assignment to a district, and 2) ad‐hoc tabular reporting / charting against the redistricting plan. The following feature set is provided: 

The following predefined report templates will be included: 

  • Population Summary Report
  • All Summary Report
  • District Geography Report
  • Voting Age Population Report
  • District Statistics Report
  • Unassigned Geography Report
  • Plan Comparison Report 

You may create report templates against: 

  • Census P.L. 94‐171 population demographic data at the following levels: district, block, block group, tract
  • Customer‐specific data integrated via the data add‐on pack (for example, historical voting data) 

Reporting functionality will support the following capabilities:  

  • Save report templates and use them across redistricting plans
  • Create formula fields to report against
  • Generate charts and graphs in reports
  • Embed graphics into a report
  • Export statistics table and reports (CSV, PDF, Excel)
  • Display demographic changes between districts caused by geography assignment(s)
  • Display ideal versus actual district population
  • Share reports with other users and groups 

Plan Management

Esri Redistricting has a redistricting plan explorer that provides the following features: 

  • Centralized plan management
  • Save a copy of a plan (“Save As”) or save a copy of portions of a plan (select plan features)
  • Lock plans as “Read‐only”
  • Maintain a log of access and modifications to a plan (for example, created, opened, or saved)
  • Maintain plan metadata
  • Ability to merge plans for consolidated redistricting plan assignments
  • Overlay plan comparison / visualization
  • “Folder‐like” redistricting plan explorer to manage and categorize plans by keyword 

Plan Management Administration and Access Control

Esri Redistricting supports the creation, storage, and retrieval of redistricting plans from the Redistricting Database. As such, this module also regulates plan access and user/group management and supports user entities with the following rights: 

You can: 

  • Create groups
  • Invite other users of the system to join groups they create
  • Delete groups they created 
  • Modify membership to groups they created
  • Share plans with their groups (with read or read/write access)
  • Accept or reject membership to groups they have been invited to
  • View and modify (if shared with write access) plans shared to their group 

You cannot: 

  • See groups they are not members of
  • View or modify plans not shared to a group they belong to

 Thematic Mapping

Thematic Mapping provided by Esri Redistricting allows users to build a thematic layer by selecting a variable used to classify the geographies into different groups (for example, population density or demographic concentration). The following capabilities are supported: 

  • Thematic maps based on census geographies
  • Selectable color ramps
  • User modification of class break ranges (not SaaS model)
  • User modification of polygon symbology for class breaks (including fill color, fill pattern)
  • Thematic map legend
  • Preconfigured thematic map templates
  • Thematic map labeling

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Esri Contributor

Redistricting plans must comply with provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 for covered jurisdictions and specific state laws regarding the creation of legislative, congressional, and other elective districts. 

Esri Redistricting assists state and local governments in drawing legislative and congressional redistricting plans using Census data, including plans for data from the upcoming 2020 census. In addition, advocacy groups and the general public can use the online Redistricting solution to evaluate proposed plans, provide input to decision‐makers, and collaborate with others to develop alternative plans for consideration. You can rapidly and effectively create, edit, publish, review, and collaborate on redistricting plans that comply with federal law through a robust, easy-to-use web-based application.

Esri Redistricting addresses common needs and challenges related to redistricting at the state and local level within the U.S. The foundation of this product is Esri’s proven ArcGIS platform and pertinent data set components. Powered by the ArcGIS platform, Esri Redistricting provides comprehensive features and functionality for plan management, visualization, editing and community collaboration.

It can be used to develop district boundaries that are substantially equal in population based on race, existing communities, voting age population, and other data variables collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and local jurisdictions. It provides users with access to the 2010 and 2020 (when available) Census data required for redistricting, and allows for plan creation and editing, plan management, district reporting, district integrity checks, plan publishing and sharing, and other useful tools to support the redistricting process.  

Benefits

Esri Redistricting provides a high value, cost effective alternative for many organizations.  The following are key differentiators and tangible benefits of using this product:

  • Reduces implementation time and cost. Redistricting capabilities and data is made accessible through a web browser which eliminates the need for software installation, or a high‐end desktop or laptop computer.
  • Increases collaboration, sharing, and consensus and community building by supporting multiple users in a flexible, highly scalable environment. 
  • Reduces operational costs through the provision of a centrally managed IT infrastructure, application software, and redistricting data. 
  • Eliminates the need for extensive GIS knowledge and experience.
  • Reduces training time and cost through the provision of an easy‐to‐use web interface, intuitive operation, and focused redistricting planning and evaluation functionality.
  • Increases deployment flexibility by offering multiple implementation options including (1) Managed Services, (2) On‐Premises, and (3) Software as a Service (SaaS) to meet specific customer financial considerations, policies, security, and IT standards. 
  • Provides a cost-effective way for jurisdictions to make available access to the general public. This increases transparency, repeatability, and defensibility of proposed redistricting plans through the use of standard processes and analyses. 

Esri Redistricting supports multiple deployment models:  Softwareas‐a‐Service (SaaS) through ArcGIS Marketplace, Onpremises, or hosted in the cloud using Esri Managed Cloud Services.

For more information, contact Esri at redistricting@esri.com.  

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Esri Contributor

Welcome and thanks for joining Esri Redistricting group on GeoNet! To get started we invite you to first review the group features on the Overview page and familiarize yourself with the group info, admins and GeoNet 101 information in the left column.

 

As you explore the group, you’ll also find tools to connect and collaborate so we encourage you to use them to share files, create blogs, ask/answer questions and read the latest blogs posts and join discussions.

 

Next, we invite you to post a comment below to say “hello" and introduce yourself and share what you’re looking forward to with using Esri Redistricting.  

 

We’re excited to connect and collaborate with you and we look forward to seeing your contributions.

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