Dave’s Redistricting App User Guide

(Last update: October 30, 2021)

Below you can find directions on how to use Dave’s Redistricting App (DRA) to draw lines for your city or school district.

Remember, when you finish your map, you must email the project email address to let us know your map is readyDRA is an awesome tool, but it does not include any notification to the jurisdiction when maps are complete.

And now, on to the directions for this very easy-to-use tool. For now, if you click on each screen shot it will appear in a larger and easy-to-read format. We are working on improving the usability of this page so that in the future you will not need to open each image in a separate window.

NDC is preparing a “how to” video for DRA. Until that is ready, please use this video prepared by (and for) the City of Buckeye. After the initial Buckeye-specific 30 seconds or so, the Buckeye video is a great introduction to the universal local government redistricting DRA tool.

For the “power users” out there, you can enjoy this hour-long exploration of both the simple and the “power user” features build into DRA. But keep in mind most of those advanced features are designed for use in partisan state-level redistricting efforts and have limited or no applicability to local government redistricting.

Step 1

Go to the DRA website

Step 2

If this is your first time on the site, click on the “Sign Up” option in the top right to create a user ID and choose a password.

If you already have a user ID and password, click “Log In”:

Step 3

To get started after you log in, click on the button with the three lines in the top left corner, then click on the “Maps” option:

Step 4

To find the map for your jurisdiction, click on the down arrow next to “My Maps”:

Step 5

Select “Published Maps”:

Step 6

Enter your jurisdiction’s name in the search box to find the blank map or the map of the existing districts to use as a starting point:

Step 7

When you find the map for your jurisdiction, click on the check box (or on the plan name) to choose it, and then click “Duplicate” to make a copy for you to modify as you see fit. Be patient, as it can take up to fifteen or twenty seconds to open the map.

Step 8

To change the name of the plan after you “duplicate” it, first click on the plan name in the list, then click the “Edit” option:

Step 9

Click on the plan title to change the name and to enter a description of your plan (see the next slide):

Step 10

Step 11

Use the “overlays” option to add streets and labels to the map:

Step 12

“Background Map” is required to see streets and other features.

NDC recommends you select Background Map, District Lines (where available), the two Labels options, and Landmarks.

If you want population numbers on the precincts and census blocks, also click the “Labels” option with the down arrow next to it and see the instructions in the next screen.

Step 13

Choose which labels you want to see on the geographic units in the map. NDC recommends including at least “Total Pop.”

If you “shatter” a precinct to view the individual census blocks in it, the same labels will appear on the individual Census Blocks.

With your overlays selected and label assigned, now you are ready to draw your map (see the next set of instructions).

Step 14

Use the “hand” to move the screen around, the “paint brush” to select precincts or blocks, and the “eraser” to undo any assignments. Zoom in and out using the + and – buttons.

Click on the appropriate circle to choose which district to assign the next precinct or block you click.

As you draw your map, details of the precinct or census block you click on will appear here. (To see the data for the district you are currently drawing, see the “District Details” option on the left side of the screen.)

Click “District Details” to see running totals for the district as you create it (see the next slide).


Step 15

Step 16

If you set the selection level to “Block,” when you click on a precinct the precinct will “shatter” and the blocks that make up that precinct will appear.

Step 17

When you are finished, click on the “Maps” button.

Step 18

First, click on the check box or the plan name of the plan you are ready to publish. Then click the “Publish” button (there is one more step – see the next slide).

Step 19

Here is your last chance to change the plan name and/or description before it goes public. And, if you wish, add your Twitter handle to be alerted if others discuss your plan in Twitter. Then click “Publish.”

Very Important:

You must then send an email to the jurisdiction with the plan name you just published (otherwise they jurisdiction will not know you have drawn it and will be unable to include it in their deliberations).

This is just an initial quick how-to guide site. Please check back often as we are constantly working to improve the user-friendliness and ease of use descriptions provided.