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Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.

Will you be using GIS and maps for your 2016 election campaign?

October 5th, 2015 by Matt Sheehan

With the 2016 elections just around the corner, we wondered how many organizations will be using maps and GIS (or location intelligence) to help boost their campaign. If you aren’t we will discuss in the article how WebMapSolutions are helping a number of different organizations boost their election campaigns.

Will you be using GIS and maps for your 2016 election campaign?

(GIS) can literally take dozens of pages of complex information and make a single, multicolored map that shows factors such as household density, family size, or racial and socioeconomic composition of neighborhoods along with their implied political and social attitudes where available from public opinion data” (Novotny & Jacobs)

GIS (can be used) to analyze fundraising patterns … and target areas that likely contained a large number of potential donors (Jardine, 2003)

GIS and Maps for your 2016 Election Campaign

Many election campaigns still rely on static paper maps to help manage, coordinate and plan. Advances in technology mean interactive maps and location analysis are becoming increasingly more popular for elections. A well designed and implemented mapping system like ArcGIS from Esri will help election campaigners visualize relationships, patterns, and trends to deeply understand a constituency. And to better organize and coordinate campaigns.

How can I use maps and GIS in my Campaign?

GIS: A Common Operating Platform for Election Campaigns

A GIS can be used as the centralized elections data repository and provide a shared set of elections tools. It can serve as the common operating platform for any election campaign. Let’s touch on some of the many applications of GIS to help super charge any election campaign:

GIS Tools for Election Canvassing and Data Collection

Field staff can use mobile apps powered by maps and GIS for collecting and automatically storing centrally data from household interviews.

Using Maps for Election Coordination

GIS is the perfect tool to help coordinate election campaigns between field staff, and campaign offices. Finding the best locations for signs, for example, then coordinating sign placement. Running candidate events and coordinating phone banks.

Using GIS for Election Campaign Management

Field directors will be able to see the progress of sign placement operations, volunteer recruitment, literature distribution and much more in real time using GIS.

Election Campaign Analysis with GIS

GIS comes with an amazingly varied set of tools for analysing election campaigns. Leveraging demographic data for example, using GIS, can provide new insight. This can help find concentrations of likely voters or supporters for more efficient targeting, provide voter summary by area, help discover the best locations for candidate events etc.

GIS and Elections Phone Campaigns

GIS can help develop call lists based on location, voter past behavior, and demographics.

Planning Election Campaigns using Historic Data and GIS

GIS is a powerful tool to search, filter and display past elections data eg. show me on a map all 2014 primary swing voters.

GIS and Walk Lists

GIS can be used to generate walk lists, with mobile apps providing shortest routes to households for campaign staff.

Using GIS for Polling Station Exit Interviews

New mobile GIS apps with custom forms and data collection tools can help simplify polling station exit interviews and provide quick data turnaround and sharing.

GIS and new mapping technology is helping to revolutionize election campaigns. If you are not planning to use it in your upcoming 2016 campaign you may well be at a big disadvantage to your rivals.

Contact us for more information on 801-733-0723.

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Categories: ArcGIS Online, cloud GIS, Mobile ArcGIS, Mobile GIS, Web and mobile GIS

One Response to “Will you be using GIS and maps for your 2016 election campaign?”


    I am practicing GIS and I find your ideas on how it could be used in elections interesting. Will definitely follow up

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