Division of Legislative Services 2010 Redistricting Site Help

The Division of Legislative Services (DLS) redistricting web site interface has been designed to provide users with a simple and intuitive experience that provides current and complete information on the 2010 redistricting process in the Commonwealth of Virginia. DLS has modeled the mapping component of this site after popular consumer based web mapping applications while providing users with the most current redistricting and mapping information maintained by the Commonwealth.

System Requirements: The web mapping application is designed to work with all modern web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in application must be installed on the browser in order for the site to operate.

Site Overview

The top of the web site provides several links for navigating all available content and tools:

  • Home – Returns users to the home page of the web site.
  • Census 2010 Data – As Census data becomes available from the Census bureau, the DLS will make it available on this page.
  • Map – This link takes users to a map page with access to all of the current redistricting plans. See the map tab details below for more information on the mapping interface.
  • Redistricting Plans – Takes users to the redistricting plans page, where users can navigate a list of plans, plan details and a map depicting the boundaries and demographic statistics of each plan boundary.
  • Information – Provides links to New (current information on the redistricting process), Hearings (scheduled House and Senate redistricting hearings), Criteria (House and Senate redistricting criteria) and Publications (documents that describe the reasons, processes and implications of redistricting).
  • About – Provides information on the data used on the site, the Department of Justice submittal process, and court cases related to redistricting.
  • Boundary Descriptions – Provides written descriptions of the boundaries of the congressional, House of Delegates, and state Senate districts.
  • District Maps – Displays links to maps for each of the current House of Delegates and state Senate districts.

Working with the Redistricting Plans

The Redistricting Plans page provides a tabbed interface for navigating between a list of Congressional, House and Senate Plans, detailed information and links for each tab, and a map displaying the currently selected plan (and all other plans). To switch between the tabs, simply click on the tab name on the web site.

The following are detailed instructions on how to use each of the tabs:

Plan List: The Plan List tab provides a list of every available plan for Congressional, House and Senate voting boundaries. As plans are submitted to the DLS, they will become available in the Plan List. Clicking on a plan from the list will display the plan details on the Plan Details Tab and will automatically display the plan boundaries on the Map tab.


Plan Details: The Plan Details tab provides additional information related to the plan selected from the Plan List or the plan selected from the Map. This includes any available documents associated with the plan. The related plan boundaries can be displayed on the map by clicking on the Map tab or the View in Map link on the Plan Details tab.


Map Tab: The Map tab provides a rich interface for exploring redistricting mapping data in more detail. If the user is opening the Map Tab from a details page, the Map will automatically display the plan boundaries on the map. Otherwise map will show only the County boundaries on the map. The remaining sections of this user guide provide more information on the tools and capabilities of the redistricting mapping interface.

Navigating on the Map

You can use a mouse to perform nearly all navigation functions on the map. The following is a diagram depicting each of the mouse actions and the corresponding behavior each action provokes on the map:

Map Tools

Comment: The Comment tool allows users to comment on a redistricting plan using a location on the map. Comments must be submitted using the following workflow:

·         Click the Comment Tool

·         Click a location on the map

·         Choose a Plan from the dropdown list (the currently selected plan will be the default in this list)

·         Enter First and Last name (required)

·         Enter Company name (optional)

·         Enter Comment (required)

·         Click the Submit button to submit the comment to DLS

Search: The Search tool allows users to search for their address on the map and automatically zoom to the address. Valid address formats include “101 South 15th St, Richmond, VA” or “101 South 15th St, 23219”.



Identify: The Identify tool can be used to view attributes about map features by clicking on the map with the left mouse button.  The attributes appear as a “bubble” window on the map, which can be navigated with the vertical and horizontal scroll bars on the window. The feature is highlighted on the map when it is selected in the bubble window.



Map Layers: A list of available map layers is available on the left side of the mapping interface. Users can display available Congressional, House and Senate plans by choosing one of the legislative bodies from the Map Theme dropdown list. Users can turn off and on layers to make them visible and invisible on the map. Users can also click on the small arrow beside each layer to see how the layer should be displayed on the map. Beside the top level of the Map Layers is a slider bar that toggles the amount of transparency on the map layers and the background / base map layer. If a layer is associated with a redistricting plan, a “view details” link will be visible beside the plan. Click on this link will open the Plan Details tab for the plan. The layer list can be resized and, minimize the map layer list, click on the arrow button beside the list.


Base Map: In addition to displaying data from the list of map layers, the web application simultaneously shows one of many “Base Map” background layers. These can be toggled by clicking on the Base Map button and then choosing one of the background layers from the list.

Full Screen: By clicking on the Full Screen button, the application enters a mode where the map takes up the entire screen on the computer, maximizing the amount of mapping real estate available for the user. To leave Full Screen mode, the user can click the Exit Full Screen button on the map or by pressing the Escape key on the keyboard.


Bookmarks: The bookmarks tools stores commonly visited locations within Virginia and allows users to store bookmarks and retrieve them in the mapping application. To zoom to a static bookmark, click on the bookmark star in the list. To create a new bookmark, zoom to the bookmark extent on the map, choose the “Add New” icon and give the bookmark a name. You can delete the bookmark by clicking on the delete button on the list of bookmarks. Once a bookmark is created, it is available in future DLS mapping application sessions.


Measure: The measure tool can be used to measure user defined distances and areas in the map panel by clicking on the measure tool. To measure linear distances, choose the Length option and click on the map to start sketching a line. To measure an area, choose the Area option and click on the map to start sketching a polygon.  Each click on the map will create a vertex and will place a text measurement with the length of the line or polygon. On the sketch tool itself, a running list of the last segment length and total length or area of the shape are shown. To change the unit, click on the dropdown beside the Length or Area option to change the units.

Print / Save: The Print / Save tool generates a printable export of the current map. Click on the Print / Save button on the toolbar, enter a title for the map and choose a format from the list available Templates in the dropdown. The map will display an export area on the map that will indicate how the current extent will be displayed in the PDF export. Users can also pan, zoom and navigate on the map before printing, so that adjustments can be made before a final export is created. Clicking the Export button will Export the map and will generate a PDF.


Magnifier: The Magnifier tool allows users to see a magnified part of the map using aerial photographs without having to zoom in on the map.

Coordinates: The Coordinates button toggles the display of map coordinates and scale bar at the bottom of the map. Users can click on the arrow beside the map units to toggle between Decimal Degrees, Degrees / Minutes / Seconds and Stateplane Feet.