Ask A Cartographer

Voting Districts

January 25 2012 | 0 comments
Categories: Symbology

I'm looking for examples or suggestions to best show changes to voting districts in a small community following a redistricting effort. I have census blocks and current district boundaries and will have the new district boundaries.

Side-by-side OR before-after maps take up a lot of space and don't allow for as much detail but single maps start to get busy with too many overlays.

I'm kind of surprised there aren't more sample maps on the internet following the decennial census.

Mapping Center Answer:

You've pretty much described the various options and rightly identified the cartographic issues in displaying this type of information!

Which one will look best is going to depend on the size of your area, the scale of the map and the extent of the detail you need to show.  If the changes are across the whole map then overlays with different line symbology would work.  You will probably need to avoid fills which would create further problems when overlaying polygons.  If changes only occur in particular places you might use inset maps to show those at a larger scale.

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