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GIS Lab Spotlight

Hi folks, this is Nick from the P+MTR GIS lab! Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of helping a community redraw its voting ward maps—a job, I thought, that was reserved for political think tanks. But after years of GIS training, classes, certificates, and finally a GIS Professional certification, I felt equipped to tackle the task.

The municipality tasked me with analyzing the new decennial census data release to examine how the community is changing and whether redistricting its ward boundaries would be necessary. This involved a thorough analysis of the data, which required more than a simple factfinder export. I used Microsoft Access, ArcGIS Pro, and Excel pivot tables to properly join the census data to the geospatial block shapes, test configurations and make recommendations that served local goals. But that’s all inside baseball.

Next came visualizing the results. I believe that all maps and reports should be intuitive and easy to follow for readers of all levels. I stare at maps All. Day. Long. but most people aren’t cartography fanatics like myself… I chose an analogous color palette that would distinguish all nine wards from one another but not clash with each other. Each ward color corresponded to population bar graphs that supplemented the maps.

The result was a simple yet effective document that clearly tells a story with graphics and communicates the recommendations effectively. At Pashek+MTR, we’re about not only providing analysis and recommendations, but making each map, graph, and report tell a story for all people to understand.

If you’d like to understand and visualize data about your community, Pashek+MTR offers services to help break down and illustrate vital information. Change is happening in your community, and we can create a clear picture of what data tells us about how your community functions, relevant existing conditions and trends, its demographic make-up and other insights that will support informed policy decisions that directly impact citizens.