|District||Population||Population Devation||% Black
|Obama 2008 %||Sink 2010 %|
|District 17||District 17, HPUBC0035: 100.0%
District 17, 27october: 89.5%
District 17, HPUBC0103: 89.5%
District 17, november14: 89.5%
District 17, CongressGr: 87.9%
District 17, Congress2: 87.2%
District 17, Romo 2012 Alternative Plan: 86.9%
District 17, S034C9010: 86.8%
District 17, SPUBC0154: 86.8%
District 17, SPUBC0062: 86.4%
A map is considered contiguous is when each district is a single, uninterrupted piece: you should be able to move between any two points in a district without having to cross into another district to complete the journey. This is a requirement under the Florida Constitution.
Most of the maps that are non-contiguous here are due to small flecks of geography being misassigned, which is a surprisingly easy mistake to make in the map editing process.
Do the districts cover the entire state? Usually an incomplete map is intentional - the drawer was illustrating an arrangement for just part of the state - but sometimes drawers missed assigning all the geography by accident.
These figures are based on each district's average estimated vote in the 2008 presidential election and the 2010 gubernatorial election. These two races were picked for several reasons.
First, these estimates were made available to map drawers by the state for the initial redistricting process, so these would be actual data they were looking at.
Second, while these are congressional districts, using previous congressional election results isn't a good option: some districts were uncompetitive (or completely uncontested), meaning that the number of Democrats or Republicans being reported would be skewed in certain parts of the state. Presidential and gubernatorial races in Florida, on the other hand, are statewide, high-profile, and competitive, making them a good estimate of a district's partisanship.
Finally, 2008 was a Democratic wave year, while 2010 was a Republican wave year, so averaging the two races provides a more balanced look than just using one or the other.
The Florida Constitution bans the drawing of districts with the intent to favor a political party. Because intent is required, an imbalanced map is not unconstitutional, per se, but should be viewed with skepticism.
Compactness is the general idea that a district should be made up of an area that is all close together, rather than spread out. In practice, there are dozens of ways to measure more specific definitions of this concept, and this site presents two of them. In both measures, scores range from 0 to 1, with 1 being the best.
Reock compares the area of a district to the area of the smallest circle that can contain the entire district. A perfect score, then, is a district that is also a circle, and as the district stretches away from that ideal, the worse the score will be. Districts that are especially spread out get penalized worst.
Polsby-Popper takes advantage of the fact that the shape with the largest area given a certain perimeter length is a circle, and compares the area of the district to the area of a circle with the same perimeter. Again, the best score would be given to a circle, and like Reock, Polsby-Popper does penalize spread-out-ness, but it also picks up the smoothness of the district boundary. A district with a lot of tendrils reaching out to pick up small neighborhoods while avoiding others would have a large perimeter relative to its area, and a bad Polsby-Popper score.
Compactness is a second tier requirement under the Florida Constitution, to be followed provided it does not interfere with first tier requirements (contiguity, no racial discrimination, no drawing maps for partisan or incumbent gain).
The Florida Constitution says that districts should follow existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible as a second tier requirement, provided it does not interfere with first tier requirements (contiguity, no racial discrimination, no drawing maps for partisan or incumbent gain). Litigation surrounding the district maps have gotten at this partly by counting how many of Florida's 67 counties and 410 (as of 2010) municipalities were split across two or more districts. Due to equal population requirements, zero splits for either is impossible, but fewer splits are seen as better than more.
Maps are available in three formats for download. ESRI Shapefiles are a format developed by ESRI for their software package ArcGIS, and due to its popularity, is supported by almost all GIS software available. DOJ text files assign each census block in the state to a particular district, and notably can be imported into the State House's MyDistrictBuilder software for examination and editing. GeoJSON is another plain-text format, which sees heavy use in web-based mapping projects (such as this one).