We’re thrilled to announce that DistrictBuilder, our open source software for collaborative redistricting, won the ‘Data Used for Social Impact’ award at the Strata Data Innovation Awards. Part of the O’Reilly Strata Conference & Hadoop World Conference, the Strata Data Innovation Awards recognize innovation in big data and data science.
DistrictBuilder was developed in collaboration with leading redistricting experts at the Public Mapping Project to give the public access to online redistricting tools that make the redistricting process more open and collaborative. The platform has supported redistricting efforts for the states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Virginia and others. It was also used at the local level in Contra Costa County, CA, Marion County, IN, and in Philadelphia for the first online redistricting contest in that city. The DistrictBuilder software development effort was catalyzed by the enormous U.S. redistricting effort triggered every ten years by release of official population data from the U.S. Census Bureau — but in the past year has also been extended to support redistricting laws and languages throughout the world. All told, thousands of users have generated several thousands of redistricting plans nationwide thanks to DistrictBuilder, demonstrating that not only are citizens interested in the redistricting process, they are sufficiently invested and motivated to spend many hours drawing high quality plans that would pass legal muster in their city, county or state.