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

I'm not in GIS, and I'm working on a nutty redball express project that involves matching some zip+4 data to congressional districts for the upcoming 113th congress. We have found very few sources of this data as it hasn't been officially published by the census bureau. One of the ones we did find was The problem is I'm not sure if we can trust their data -- I'm not horribly familiar with the field, and my google fu leads to no smoking guns either for or against.

So has anyone had experience with their data? Is it worth the price of admission?

share|improve this question

[EDIT 4]

Hey check this out.. could this be what you're looking for??

These files represent the boundaries of the post-2010 census state legislative and 113th Congressional district plans as collected by the U.S. Census Bureau in Phase 4 of the Redistricting Data Program (RDP). [...]

These shapefiles are the official boundaries as represented by the state liaisons, including split 2010 census tabulation blocks.

[EDIT 2]

It just occurred to me that you may be more interested in the officials who won the elections, which will be different from year to year, rather than the district boundaries, which change infrequently. If that is the case, the Tiger/Line data will be of little help, in as far as I can tell it does not reveal the party or the official holding office.

[Original Post]

In the 2012 Tiger/Line data, you can get shapefiles for ZIP code tabulation areas (492 MB), as well as the 112th congressional districts (44.6 MB). Of course these are free.

I realize that you're wanting data for the 113th congress, but is it really so different from the 112th? (Please forgive my stupidity, I really don't know.)

Depending on when your project is due, could you possibly create the application now, against the 112th dataset, then slide updated data for the 113th congress into place once it's released for free through Tiger/Line? far as the differences between the 112th boundaries and the 113th, I'm skeptical that they are so different. Here are two graphics comparing the 112th with the former, the 111th (showing the St. Louis area---go Blues---and the Boston area---go Bruins), and I cannot distintuish any differences between these boundaries. If there is a significant difference, you should notice a blue border (112th) below the red one (111th)..

StL: [image removed, irrelevant now]

and beantown (Boston): [image removed, irrelevant now]

However... again... maybe there is something I don't know to be extra-scrutinous of? My gut-level instinct is that these boundaries may have been redrawn following the 2010 census, but I doubt they are frequently redrawn. (Afterall, the whole point of the census is to establish population counts then set these representative areas.)

[EDIT 3]

Here's Texas, somewhat in response to comments, however admittedly this is 111th vs 112th. Just adding it to be consistent:

[image removed, irrelevant now]

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the response. Nope, not interested in offices -- we got that. Working on mating up some geodata with that list. There is a big difference between 112 and 113 -- the 113th takes into account the 2010 census data and changes district lines in some places. In some cases seats disappear and get added. Probably didn't happen in mature, stable city with machine politics that already gerrymandered the districts (like STL and BOS). But take a look at Texas for a good example. – Wyatt Barnett Dec 1 '12 at 21:47
PS: your mentions of NHL hockey make me sad. I miss my caps . . . – Wyatt Barnett Dec 1 '12 at 21:49
Thanks, yup, got those files and am barking up that alley. Trick is the data I've got is by zip+4, not by 15 digit FIPS and I don't have a way to get from 15 digit FIPS to zip+4. – Wyatt Barnett Dec 1 '12 at 23:06
so you need to burn the 15-digit FIPS values into the zip+4 tables that way you can join zip+4 to the congresional stuff? – elrobis Dec 1 '12 at 23:19
Yes, no idea where to find that though. Don't have anything in the way of GIS toys and skills, more of a database guy. – Wyatt Barnett Dec 1 '12 at 23:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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