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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

State Legislative Districts Data Product Now Available for Entire U.S. from Caliper

 
March 23rd, 2017 by Susan Smith

Caliper has announced that the State Legislative Districts Data Product is now available for the entire USA or for a single U.S. state. Three area databases reflect the latest boundaries for Congressional Districts, State House/Assembly (lower chamber) districts, and State Senate (upper chamber) districts, according to company materials.

For legislators, for example, legislative district data with Maptitude mapping software will be able to help answer questions such as “Where are my addresses located?”

Pricing on the State Legislative Districts Data Product is $1,295 for the entire United States or $495 for a single state.

GISCafe Voice: How often will the Census data be updated?

Our products always ship with the most up-to-date Census and American Community Survey (ACS) information The current map layers include demographic variables derived from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) and 2010 Census, both conducted by the United States Census Bureau. Updates to the demographic data are made every single year and the updated boundaries are released when the data are published by the United States Census Bureau.

GISCafe Voice: What will the data be used for?

The demographic data included with the legislative boundaries can be used for a wide range of analysis, including racial, ethnic and income based comparisons. These layers are packed with essential information for corporate legislative affairs departments, lobbyists, political consultants, political parties, and anyone else involved in political affairs. Each legislative district includes 2010 Census counts for age, race, gender, ethnicity, and housing, as well as 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data for income, occupation, education, language spoken, marital status, travel mode and time, housing value, and housing costs. By using the legislative district data with Maptitude mapping software, you will be able to answer questions such as “In which districts are my addresses located?” or “In which districts should I expend the most effort?”

GISCafe Voice: Will gerrymandering boundaries be considered in this data?

All congressional districts reflect the information published by the Census Bureau by the states by May 1, 2016, and were in effect during the November 2016 election.

The following states had changes for the 115th Congress:

Florida
Minnesota
North Carolina
Virginia

States provided updates for their boundaries used in the November 2016 elections for the session that began in January 2016. The following states or equivalents had changes to their state legislative districts for 2016:

Florida (upper house only)
Minnesota
Maryland (lower house only)
Georgia (lower house only)

There is ongoing redistricting litigation in several states: Ongoing Redistricting Litigation

GISCafe Voice: Does this data include political parties represented, or personal political information on people living in a particular district?

Each of the three layers includes District Name and District Code fields as well as 2010 Census and 2015 American Community Survey data, allowing you to easily add party and representative information by district code.

GISCafe Voice: How do you think this data may change the face of politics or the ability of state legislatures to accurately assess their constituencies?

The American Community Survey data provides vital information about the country. Data from ACS help determine how more than $400 billion of state and federal funding are distributed. Public officials use this data to assess the past and to plan for the future.

The Census Bureau counts the number of people living in the United States every decade, and the results support political boundary revisions. The primary reason for the establishment of the Census is set forth in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution requires a population count to serve as the basis for the apportionment among the states of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives, with the provision that each state must have at least one representative.

Congressional districts are reapportioned among the states using a formula based on each state’s population and the total population of the country, and is simply a mathematical calculation.

Each state then redistricts to divide the state up into equal population districts. The widespread use of redistricting software has made the drawing of redistricting plans easier from a technical perspective, but changes to the data and the political and legal landscapes conspire to make the redistricting process at times contentious. Maptitude for Redistricting is a version of Maptitude designed to meet the needs of those involved, and is used by almost all state legislatures, political parties of every stripe, and public interest groups.

GISCafe Voice: Do you see that this data will help clear up some inaccuracies and problems for some voters in the states, who may have felt their voices weren’t heard in the recent presidential election?

The American Community Survey data is the most comprehensive source of data about jobs, occupations, educational attainment, veterans, home ownership and other topics. Analysis of this data for Congressional and State Legislative districts give voice to all Americans.

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Categories: Caliper, data, election maps, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, Maptitude, public safety, resilient cities, U.S. Census

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