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GIS for political campaigns and elections and/or public affairs

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03-18-2024 08:55 AM
JimWooten
Occasional Contributor

Hello All,

I may also be teaching a political science course for the fall 2024 and/or Spring 2025 semester. I’d like to focus the course on the use of GIS in campaigns and elections and/or public affairs.  Maybe fundraising as well.  Can anyone recommend a textbook or an appropriate syllabus for use in the course?  I checked the  ESRI Press site and I didn't find anything suitable.  This would be for a university's undergraduate political science  department so a text is  preferred but an appropriate reading list would also be helpful.  I might need to make sure the students can work with Pro and Online if that helps.  Thanks for any help or guidance.

Jim

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BobBooth1
Esri Contributor
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SaraJL
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Occasional Contributor III

@JimWooten I would be curious on what you find out! I work pretty frequently with groups that are doing research or study that is political science related (I myself also have a background in both political science and GIS). I work in IT at a college currently as an academic/instructional technologist that supports GIS coursework

I will also agree with you that's it's been really difficult to find texts on this type of topic - especially ones that are more based in the humanities side and not just statistical analysis. Not that analyzing voting doesn't involve stats, but in my experience - the stats texts focus only on the numbers part and validating if things are right/wrong/significant but doesn't always tie back to how this relates to the population from a sociopolitical perspective.

If you have research librarians at your institution, I definitely recommend reaching out to them! I work with research librarians frequently on trying to find materials. They might have some recommendations of other resources to check!

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JimWooten
Occasional Contributor

Thanks, Sara.  I'll keep you posted on what I find out.  I would be an adjunct at this university so if and when I'm asked to teach, I'll definitely reach out the research librarians.  That's a great suggestion.  Also, as political campaigns resemble fundraising efforts by non-profits, especially early on, that's also a potential source of pedagogical material. I also reached out to Joseph Kerski, who you may know as a fantastic source for teaching in the GIS field.

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JimWooten
Occasional Contributor

Hi again SaraJL

Joseph Kerski reminded me that Ken Field's book "Thematic Mapping; 101 inspiring ways to visualize empirical data" contains many examples of how thematic mapping can be used to communicate election data. It should be helpful, especially for undergraduates.

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BobBooth1
Esri Contributor

You might find some of the resources here helpful:

https://learn.arcgis.com/en/gallery/#?q=district&t=lesson

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JimWooten
Occasional Contributor

Thanks BobBooth1.  Between the tutorials list you sent and Ken Field's book, and outside readings, I should be able to construct a decent syllabus.  Also, Joseph Kerski reminded me that Business Analyst Web App is also a good source for voter and donor socioeconomic data. That can help with messaging.

Jim

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