How we made the maps 

How we made the maps

To create these maps we used 2007 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for counties, cities and towns and plotted them in a geographic information system. We were then able to assign populations to legislative districts based on the proportion of each city, town or unincorporated area that fell within current district boundaries.

The estimates are better for large rural districts than for the smaller urban districts because districts that cross city lines are more dependent on the proportional allocation of population based on acreage.

When the 2010 census is completed and delivered to states in 2011, it will include more detailed population information, down to the census block and voting precinct level. This will allow the Idaho Commission on Reapportionment to manipulate district lines on a finer scale to ensure that all 35 legislative districts are within 10 percent deviation from one another.

But in the meantime, voters and elected officials can anticipate which districts will need the most adjusting in coming years.

Boise-based GIS analyst Bo Wilmer provided technical expertise in designing the map.

—Nathaniel Hoffman

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