Understand What Mapping Tool Best Fits Your Needs
There are a number of mapping tools available, but researching and comparing them all can take a lot of time. The Redistricting Data Hub surveyed most of the tools out there and compiled this information into the “Choose Your Mapping Tool” feature, which enables you to easily find the right tool based on your needs.
Need a free tool that has compactness scores? Want a tool that works on your Mac and allows for team collaboration on mapping? The “Choose Your Mapping Tool” can help you answer questions like these, in two easy ways:
- Our table has sortable columns that makes it simple to identify and compare the features for each tool.
- You can also filter the table based on the column features that are most important to you, until you’ve narrowed it down to the best match.
For any questions, feedback or suggestions, reach out to us
Choose Your Own Mapping Tool
Use the table down below to compare and contrast various mapping tools. Scroll to see the full table.
About the Mapping Tools
Learn more about each mapping tool.
Districtr is a free, public webtool for districting and community identification. The tool was developed by the MGGG Redistricting Lab to help state legislatures, nonpartisan commissions, and community organizations collect public input throughout the redistricting process. It features a user-friendly mapping interface built on top of vetted electoral and demographic data.
AutoBound EDGE by Citygate GIS
The autoBound EDGE desktop is a standalone application designed specifically for redistricting. The user is not burdened with learning or maintaining a complex GIS application. As a result, the software is not only easy to learn and use, but significantly simpler to install, and maintain. EDGE uses the latest mapping technology from ESRI. The software comes with a choice of 11 base-maps which include a variety imagery, topographic and roads layers. The software’s automated tools can recommend districts configurations based on user defined parameters. EDGE analytics tools enable the user to simultaneously view demographic and political parameters for any level of geography with the results displayed in an Excel spreadsheet. EDGE desktop tools are fully integrated with the EDGE online tools allowing for an unparalleled level of integration across the desktop and Internet based tools.
AutoBound EDGE for Arc
Autobound Desktop Professional is the latest version of Citygate’s redistricting software and is based on ArcView 9/10 GIS software. ArcView is the world’s most popular GIS product, from ESRI, the worldwide leader in providing enterprise and desktop geographic software solutions. AutoBound is a complete network ready redistricting solution covering every aspect of redistricting from the initial database development to final plan analysis using any of 5 or user defined Compactness and Complexity Analysis tools.
DistrictBuilder is a free, open-source, web-based software developed by the Public Mapping Project and Azavea. The software is designed for creating redistricting plans for state legislatures, Congressional districts, and local jurisdictions. The online tools support drawing districts using counties, census block groups, or census blocks and can be adapted to drawing with voting precincts or other units. Users are provided with district statistics on population, race/ethnicity, election results, contiguity, and compactness. The software supports integration of communities of interest and maps can be shared via social media or exported in a variety of formats.
DISTRICTSolv is a desktop product developed on the Esri ArcMap desktop platform. DISTRICTSolv was developed by ARCBridge Consulting & Training Inc. in 2010, utilizing its founder’s redistricting experience at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section and at the Bureau of Census. DISTRICTSolv allows users to import, create, and edit an unlimited number of district plans at the census county, tract, block group, block, and precinct geographies, and create community of interest maps and reports. DISTRICTSolv provides an easy-to-use interface, comes bundled with processed PL94-171 data, offers automated creation of districts, and checks for contiguity and compactness.
DRA 2020 is a free web app to create, view, analyze and share redistricting maps for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. DRA 2020 includes demographic data from the 2010 census and 2018 5-Year ACS estimates and extensive election data. Official congressional and legislative district maps are included and can be used to start new maps, or you can create maps from scratch. A comprehensive feature set makes it easy to create and modify maps while keeping them within the accepted parameters. DRA 2020 also includes a rich set of analytics, including measures of proportionality, competitiveness, minority representation, compactness and splitting.
ESRI Redistricting Online
Esri Redistricting is a web-based software that enables governments, advocates, and citizens to complete and share regulation-compliant redistricting plans. Based on Esri’s proven ArcGIS software and dataset components, Esri Redistricting provides comprehensive tools for plan creation, management, visualization, editing, and collaboration.
Maptitude for Redistricting
Maptitude for Redistricting is the professional tool for political redistricting.The newest version represents a major leap forward with advanced features, the latest Census geography and data, one-button conversion of existing plans to the latest TIGER geography, new and enhanced reports, a state-of-the-art interface, open access to industry-standard file formats, interoperability with Google Maps and Google Earth, an updated manual, video tutorials, context-sensitive Help, web solutions, and more.
Maptitude Online Redistricting
Maptitude Online Redistricting is web-based redistricting software designed for governments or organizations that want to provide their members or the general public with a means to draw and report redistricting plans. Because the Windows and online versions share common file formats, plans developed online can be electronically submitted to the central redistricting office, opened in the Windows-based software, and analyzed to the full extent as if they had been created using the Windows-based software.
QGIS Redistricting Plugin
Free and open source desktop redistricting software designed for drawing single districts or statewide district plans through the QGIS open source GIS software. It is available for download through the QGIS plugins app or this website. Users must supply their own data, but this means that districts can be drawn at any level, including census blocks and precincts. Users can generate and export reports, including population and deviation statistics for districts. You can also track any number of variables that you import by district. Maps can be exported in any file format allowed by QGIS, including shapefiles and PDF.
Draw My CA Community
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) is collecting information about communities all over California, and will use this information to help create California’s new statewide election districts. The Statewide Database in partnership with the CRC has developed Draw My CA Community to allow you to participate in this process. On this free, webtool, users respond to questions about their COI and draw it on a map using census block-level detail. Users submit their COI directly to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Representable is a free, open-source Community of Interest mapping platform. Designed to be as easy to use as possible, Representable provides civic organizations, community members, and mapmakers with the ability to quickly gather quality Community of Interest maps from community members, annotated with the various interests that bind said COI together. Maps can also be visualized in aggregate and exported for use with other mapping software.
Spanish Language Accessible Tools
These tools are accessible to those who speak Spanish as their primary language
Representable is a free, open-source Community of Interest mapping platform. Designed to be as easy to use as possible, Representable provides civic organizations, community members, and mapmakers with the ability to quickly gather quality Community of Interest maps from community members, annotated with the various interests that bind said COI together. Maps can also be visualized in aggregate and exported for use with other mapping software.Representable provides information on Communities of Interest requirements in each state and allows users to create maps based on census blocks. After submitting their map, it is available for export in GeoJSON, PDF, and CSV formats. Users can analyze their maps in relation to existing boundaries, including congressional, legislative, counties, and more. Organizations can also create dashboards to collect maps, along with testimonies, from community members.
Draw My CA Community
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) is collecting information about communities all over California, and will use this information to help create California’s new statewide election districts. The Statewide Database in partnership with the CRC has developed Draw My CA Community to allow you to participate in this process. On this free webtool, users respond to questions about their COI and draw it on a map using census block-level detail. Users submit their COI directly to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Additionally, it can be exported in PDF, SHP, GeoPackage and Block Assignment CSV formats.