Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Did anyone work with SunLight foundation data to map the zipcodes with legislative district data. I have to work with Illinois zipcodes only.

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by Get Spatial, underdark Aug 24 '12 at 19:00

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your question won't yield useful answers as it is presented. You'll only end up with a count/list of people who have worked with the data. I suggest revising the question to make it more specific, with details. For example, are you having a problem when trying to analyze the data, are there issues with adding the data to a map, or are you trying to acquire the data from the SunLight Foundation? – user3461 Aug 17 '12 at 22:02
You do realize that it is a many-to-many relationship? – mhoran_psprep Aug 18 '12 at 4:36

If you are attempting to match zip codes to legislative districts, the Sunlight Foundation API is not the way to go, as far as I can tell. You would have to query the API for each zip code in turn to get the district. If you have a list of the zipcodes and can write code to query the API (there are implementations in Python and the other usual suspects), you could do this.

If all you're looking for is a table of correspondence between Congressional district and zip code, you can download that directly from the Census website

share|improve this answer
Is there a table that maps the Congressional district to legislatures? – Chitrarekha Saha Aug 20 '12 at 13:38

I work at Sunlight. I'm not sure why Llaves thinks our APIs aren't a good choice for this versus, say, a PDF that's going to need to be parsed (and which assumes, incorrectly, that a ZCTA and Zip Code are the same thing). In fact our API is designed to support exactly this use case, and has a number of client libraries available to simplify the process.

A few suggested links. Unfortunately, it looks like this site is limiting the number of links I can include, so I'll have to ask you to head to this pastebin link and grab the URLs from there.

  • First, an explanation of why zip codes should be avoided for this task if at all possible (if you can geocode to a lat/lon pair, that's greatly preferable).

  • Second, a link to the relevant API.

  • Third, a post with some sample code for the basic/novice user:

  • And finally, an explanation of how we're handling redistricting. (We get asked about this a lot; the short answer is that we'll have the new districts when it's actually appropriate to have them, but for right now there are technical hurdles, and many people seem to be incorrectly assuming that they already have the force of law -- they don't).

I hope this is helpful! If any additional questions come up, I'd encourage you to ask them on the Sunlight Labs google group.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to our site! Thanks for the explanations. – whuber Aug 20 '12 at 15:16
I did not mean to disparage your API. I was just saying that it's less than ideal for the user's request in that it would require an API call for each zip code, which in turn implies that the user must have a list of zip codes to begin with. As to the PDF, the user said nothing about further processing, so there is no assumption that he would be would need to parse the PDF. Thanks for pointing out the difference between ZCTA and zip code and the undesirability of using either. – Llaves Aug 21 '12 at 15:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.