I can’t resist the temptation of following the gerrymandering soap opera. Our politicians have provided way more than enough entertainment in their nothing is too immoral quest for power over the ballot box results. One of my cynical observations is that when you get old, injuries no longer heal, instead they accumulate. A serious injury a couple of months ago left me unable to work. As frustrating as losing a paycheck is, worse is that I was too injured to play, so I couldn’t even enjoy the time off. Fortunately, I could still bang on a keyboard, and suddenly found myself with time to do just that.
My redistricting software is buggy, incomplete, barely coherent, and generally not ready for prime time. I decided to start at the beginning and try to clean up the software. Computer power has continued to advance as predicted, but so has digital decay. The type of data supplied by the Census Bureau as well as the format of that data changes every decade. I suspect that is what impeded the use of the split line algorithm on the 2010 census data.
I have concluded that I need a little software program that will extract the needed redistricting data from the bloated gerrymandering data. Sandboxwalls can be designed to use a consistent form of the redistricting data. The extractor program can be used to supply that redistricting data by extracting it from the gerrymandering data. That way sandboxwalls can be the same for all decades. Theoretically, only a different extractor program will be needed for each decade.
Fortunately, I am now back to work. Next blog I will consider what files are needed.