The sharing tab offers tools that enable you to share your work with others. You can allow others access to a static copy of your plan so that they can view it and create their own plans using it in part or full, you can export the plan so that it can be loaded into other redistricting software, such as those used by official redistricting authorities, and you can score your plan for inclusion on the leaderboards.
To share a copy of your plan for others to view and incorporate into their own plans, simply give your plan a new name and click the "Save and Share" button. The created plan is a static copy, meaning that it cannot be edited. This is to allow other users to note exactly what plan they may have used as a starting point for their own mapping or to copy over a district from another plan.
When you share a plan, it is visible to all other users, both for people who have established account and for anonymous users.
Other Users Accessing Your Plan
When you share your plan, others will be able to use the Step 1: Plan menu to make a copy of your plan so that they may edit it themselves. Other users will also be able to copy one or more districts into their plan using the copy and paste feature available in the Step 2: Plan tools.
Guest User Access and Linking to Your Plan from an External Website
All Guest Users have access to Template and Shared Plans.
Furthermore, when you share your plan, you will be given a URL that you can use to point others to your plan. If you forget your plan's URL, you can find it again by logging in as a guest and viewing your shared plan. The URL given in your web browser will be the URL that you can post elsewhere to give people direct access to your plan. A person following the URL will be able to see the plan, and will be otherwise treated as a guest, which will allow them to browse other shared plans, use the evaluation tools, and view the leaderboards.
You can export your plan a format commonly used by other redistricting software by clicking on the Request File button. It may take a few minutes to generate the file if this is the first time you have requested it. For more information, please see the description of this feature in the Step 1: Plan
Verify and Post Plans to Leaderboards
The leaderboards rank verified plans as to how well they achieve certain criteria determined by the administrator.
In order for your plan to be compared to other plans, it must be a valid plan. By valid, we mean the plan must...
- ...assign all geography to a district (what is sometimes known as completeness)
- ...be within population deviations from the ideal sized population district as determined by the administrator. These tolerances are the same used to color districts by their population. A plan without any colored districts will past this verification test.
- ...be contiguous, meaning that all districts must be internally connected. District statistics in Step 2. Draw will indicate if a district is non-contiguous.
- ...the administrator may require additional criteria for valid plans, such as a minimal number of voting rights districts.
To verify your plan, click the "Verify and Submit Plan" button. It may take a few minutes for the software to verify your plan. If your plan is not verified, you will receive an error message telling you what criteria you may have failed.
One you have verified a plan, it will lose its verified status if you make any edits to it.
The leaderboards allow you to compare plans that others have verified with your verified plans. The administrator will determine which statistics to score plans on. The available leaderboards may depend on certain goals that are constitutionally required by a state or are part of a contest. The leaderboards may include one or more of the following criteria:
- Equal Population. This score is calculated by subtracting the smallest population district from the largest population district. The best scoring plan is one with least population deviation.
- Average Compactness. This score is calculated by averaging the district compactness of all districts. In this example, the Schwartzberg compactness measure is used. Generally, compactness measures compare a district to a circle, which is considered the most compact shape. These scores typically vary between 0 and 100%, with higher values related to more compact districts. Thus, the best scoring plan is one with the highest average district compactness score.
- Competitiveness. This score is calculated by counting the number of districts that are "competitive." The best scoring plan is one with the most competitive districts. A competitive district is one where there is a near balance of Democratic and Republican voters. The specific election used to measure the partisan composition of districts and the tolerance range of what constitutes a competitive district is determined by administrator.
- Representational Fairness. This score is calculated by subtracting the number of Democratic or Republican majority districts (whichever is smaller) from the number of Democratic or Republican majority districts (whichever is greater). The best scoring plan is one with the smallest deviation between the Democratic and Republican majority districts. The specific election used to measure the partisan composition of
districts is determined by administrator. Often, if a state is not a 50/50 state, the partisan composition measure will be shifted to simulate a hypothetical 50/50 election.
- The administrator may make other leaderboards available.
Top Ranked Users' Plans
By default, the leaderboards show the top ranked verified plans. Displayed for each plan is the
- Rank of the plan
- The User Name associated with the plan
- The Plan Name -- if the plan is a shared plan, a hyperlink will be provided.
- The Score.
My Ranked Plans
If you have an exemplary map, perhaps it will appear in the rankings compared to other users' plans. If not, you can still see the scores for your plans. To do so, click the "My Ranked Plans" button and you will see scores for only the plans that you have verified.