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Maptitude for Redistricting Software

Here is what some of our clients have to say about Maptitude for Redistricting:

A new report “When the People Draw the Lines,” finds that California’s first citizen-led redistricting commission successfully democratized redistricting in the state. In fact, among the estimated 1/3 of the voters who were familiar with the work of the commission, over 66% of the public approved of the CRC district maps. "The redistricting software, Maptitude for Redistricting, facilitates the creation of districts with equal or nearly equal populations. The software allowed mappers to adjust district boundaries to meet the population equality requirement.”

League of Women Voters of California

“We did our redistricting in Rockland County in flying colors.”

Ann Marie Kelly
Commissioner of Elections

“Ten years ago, we did redistricting with software and hardware that was bulky, difficult to use, and extraordinarily expensive. Today, Maptitude software provides us far more flexibility, ease of use, and capability at a fraction of the cost. Following redistricting, we will be able to continue to use Maptitude for GIS/data applications ranging from school bus transportation to land use development issues.”

Russell T. Larson
Delaware Controller General

“We have used Maptitude for Redistricting in the West Virginia Legislative Redistricting Office since the 2000 Census. I have also helped West Virginia counties use Maptitude for their realignment of magisterial districts and precincts. I have nothing but great comments, opinions, and experiences with this product. First and foremost it is VERY user-friendly. An individual with NO GIS experience can be trained to use it in a two-day session. Caliper provides comprehensive manuals and detailed training materials, and the technical support is outstanding. There are so many additional functions for creating professional presentations. I highly recommend Maptitude.”  

Jo Vaughan
Chair, West Virginia Legislative Redistricting Office

“We used Maptitude for Redistricting in 2001 and found it fit all our needs and then some. The product is easy to learn and user friendly. All the users had very few problems and could do everything that was required by the process. I highly recommend Maptitude. You do not have to be a GIS guru to get the job done. The software is very easy to understand. You can have a lot of preset things so they just use templates and standard formats that you develop and deploy.

If you want you can develop other uses for the software after you are done with redistricting. It is not just limited to redistricting. We have kept 5 licenses and we will probably continue to use the product for 2011 redistricting. I can't see why we would not use it. The tech support was outstanding. Any and all questions and or problems we had were resolved as quickly as possible and never delayed our process here. If we asked for something Caliper was very accommodating and responsive. Could not have been better.”

Anonymous State Redistricting Office Director

“I find Maptitude reasonably intuitive to use. Some functions and fancy maps require a little more knowledge but it is all learnable. The actual plan making is very simple to use and the data may be presented in different formats. One advantage this cycle may be that Caliper had the contract to do the underlying programming for the Census Bureau so I would expect everything to work seamlessly. I have also found Caliper willing to make changes suggested by users. To me, this is a primary advantage. They constantly improve their product. I can't give you a point to point comparison because I am not familiar with the competing software. I can tell you that the political operatives used the other software last time and when they saw us use Maptitude, they thought it would have been better.”

Anonymous State Redistricting Office Director

“Our redistricting office purchased Maptitude for Redistricting in 2000, and it was an absolute wonderful buy! The software is easy to use, and you do not have to be a super computer wizard to use it efficiently. We have a small staff of about 5 during non-redistricting years, but ramp up in preparation for the coming Census, so it was important that we have a product that could be learned easily in a short period of time by temporary staff.

Caliper and their staff have been very responsive. Howard Simkowitz and Tracy Horgan have just been a dream to work with. The usual response time when we have had questions or problems has been within 24 hours.

There was plenty of research and time taken when the product was chosen. I am not saying that there were no problems, because there were some kinks in the early product, but those were addressed quickly in updated versions. I think that in comparison to other software that is out there, Maptitude really speaks to the needs of the Redistricting community. When they were in the development stages, our office worked with them on what was needed and what the expectation would be for a powerful software solution – in my opinion they delivered.”

Anonymous State Redistricting Office Director

“Maptitude for Redistricting has immense capability -- it's done everything we've asked and more. Plus, our web site, which uses Maptitude for the Web, will provide an easy way for the public to access the redistricting process. The staff at Caliper has been responsive and helpful when we've had questions.”  

Anonymous State Redistricting Office Director

“So far I have found the product support from Caliper to be of high quality. Howard's staff are helpful when you have questions. In general, I am pleased with the output that Maptitude can produce, and I think it will provide us with a superior set of maps and reports for redistricting. Finally Maptitude was recommended to me by a panel of GIS staff who worked for our Universities Research Center. These staff persons had been my technical support staff for redistricting in the 2000's, and had served in this capacity for my predecessor in the 1990's. Their belief was that the Caliper Maptitude product was superior to all others and recommended that I purchase it for the 2010 round of redistricting.”

Anonymous State Redistricting Office Director

“The redistricting tools in Maptitude are significantly more advanced than Autobound, and Maptitude is much faster at key steps. In one state, we were sharing plans across a team of three GIS technicians and among about 3 public groups who had their own GIS capability. Our team and the two outside groups could create an equivalency file, put it on a disk to share, and get it open and fully working on another Maptitude computer in under 10 minutes. We would often provide and receive plans in the fifteen minutes before a Redistricting Commission meeting began, and then all of us could view and discuss the plans live on any computer for the hearing. The one poor guy using Autobound took between one and four HOURS to import an equivalency file, depending on the number of districts in the plan, so he typically had to look on with someone's Maptitude software during the meeting.”

Douglas Johnson
National Demographics Corporation

The Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College conducts and publishes research primarily on California government and politics. Using computer technology, students and faculty in the Rose Institute advance knowledge about politics and help create services that make the political process more democratic. The Rose Institute uses Maptitude, Maptitude for Redistricting, Maptitude for Precinct and Election Management, and Political Maptitude. Here is what the Rose Institute has to say about Caliper Corporation in its 2005 report, "Restoring the Competitive Edge: California's Need for Redistricting Reform and the Likely Impact of Proposition 77":

“Their longstanding and generous support makes possible all of the Rose Institute's demographic, redistricting, and geographic information systems (GIS) research. Their outstanding, powerful and easy-to-use Maptitude software enables us to train our students up from GIS novices to expert users in only a few hours, and the software's extensive analytic capabilities provide the service and power needed for our work.”


Maptitude for Redistricting was featured in a December 2003 New Yorker Article, "The Great Election Grab," by Jeffrey Toobin. Here are a few excerpts:

I asked [assistant professor of law and political science Nathaniel] Persily to give me a demonstration of how to draw district lines. He moved his mouse to the border between two congressional districts. A ledger on the top half of the screen showed that one of the districts, as currently configured, had about forty thousand more people than the other one. The Supreme Court has said that the requirement of one man, one vote means that each district must have exactly the same number of people, Persily explained. An early version of the Pennsylvania plan was rejected by the courts because the districts were just nineteen voters apart, in districts of about a half million people. Requirements for that sort of precision virtually mandate the use of computers for redistricting.

Persily zeroed in even more closely, and a little donkey popped up inside one of the census blocks. That's where the local congressman lives, a Democrat, he explained. We have little elephants for the Republican incumbents. [Maptitude for Redistricting] seemed easy to use, justifying the boast, on the software company's Web site, that you could start building plans thirty minutes after opening the box. Persily chuckled. At a certain point, you admire the video-game appeal of all this.  


Maptitude for Redistricting was featured in a April 24, 2001 Wall Street Journal Article, "Software Makes Redistricting Easier, Accessible," by Will Pinkston. Nearly everyone interviewed for the article uses Maptitude for Redistricting. Here are a few excerpts:

In New Jersey, when a committee of five Republicans and five Democrats chosen by their parties couldn't agree on how to redraw the state's legislative boundaries, the state supreme court tapped Larry Bartels, a Princeton University professor, to break the impasse. After 10 days locked away in a hotel with the two sides, the professor emerged with a resolution: an entire state redistricting map drawn on a laptop computer, using [Maptitude for Redistricting].

Cheaper software is letting independent consultants in the game, too. George Meier, former staff director of Florida's House reapportionment committee, had to requisition $600,000 in computer software and equipment in 1991 to draft new electoral district boundaries. This year, as a redistricting expert freelancing for cities and counties in Florida [using Maptitude for Redistricting], his overhead is considerably lower: He got everything he needs loaded onto his Dell laptop for under $4,000. And Baltimore civil-rights attorney Samuel L. Walters is using [Maptitude for Redistricting] to pitch his expertise to minority groups and local governments. Mr. Walters, who worked for the NAACP during 1991's redistricting, says he expects to quickly recoup his costs.

[Caliper Corporation] actually came to market with one of the first affordable programs just after the [1990] census. Since then, Caliper has sold Maptitude to more than half of the country's legislatures and dozens of interest groups.


Maptitude for Redistricting was featured in a May 8, 2001 Baltimore Sun Article, "Redistricting Options Grow with Technology," by Michael Dresser:

Governor Glendening, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Casper R. Taylor are using Maptitude for Redistricting to carve Maryland into eight congressional and 47 legislative districts. Karl Aro, director of the Department of Legislative Services, is impressed with the Maptitude program the state has bought from Caliper Corp. in Newton, Massachusetts. “It's light years ahead. The software can do so much more, so much more quickly,” he said. Aro expects his department, which serves legislators of both parties, to be drawing maps for a lot of members this year. The Maryland Republican Party has the Maptitude program, too. Political consultants around the country are also finding the software affordable.