The city of Minneapolis is now at work redrawing ward and park boundaries in response to U.S. Census changes. Residents are being encouraged to participate in the process through public meetings and they’re even encouraged to draw their own map via an interactive website.
DrawMinneapolis.org provides the means for citizens to draw their own boundaries. The site includes video tutorials about using the system and resources to learn about the redistricting process. There users learn about such terms for minority representation as “cracking” and “packing.” They’re also encouraged to understand communities of interests that go beyond geography to include social, cultural, racial/ethnic, and economic interests. The process is ongoing, with a deadline of determining precincts and city wards by April 2, 2012.
The application is powered by DistrictBuilder, a project of PublicMapping.org. The Public Mapping Project is a national effort aimed at increasing the transparency of the process of drawing electoral districts. District Builder is an open source online mapping software tool that aims to make the process easy and accessible.