Redistricting Application Migration to ArcGIS 8.1

Challenge: In early 1990, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice faced a tight deadline of April 2001: to completely upgrade a decade-old system for spatial and tabular analysis of census demographic data. ICF’s GIS Team Leader was asked to provide system architecture and data modeling review, replacing a prior contractor who had attempted a pilot project using ArcGIS 8.0 without conducting data modeling.

Solution: The decision was soon reached to build this critical application in ArcGIS 8.1, which at that time was still under development. We headed up a team of five development staff who worked closely with beta ArcGIS 8.1 plus three onsite support staff. Significant attention was paid to interface design using docking windows to enable side-by-side manipulation of maps, tables and charts, and to minimizing network traffic by selective updates of map portion, rather than complete screen redraw. This custom extension makes full use of toolbars and wizards, so fully conforms to the core ArcGIS standards, including Help system. In addition, for managing of redistricting plans it uses a minor work-flow customization to ArcCatalog to help identify if a plan is as-submitted, checked out for analysis, or final.

Redistricting Application Migration to ArcGIS 8

Benefit: We gained detailed knowledge of performance issues with ArcSDE, and the criticality of developing documented, robust data models that can grow with any newly discovered needs. This project was also very instrumental in getting new server-side functionality added to ArcSDE and has now enabled larger-scale projects to be executed in the new ArcGIS platform. It helped further define the needs for server-side metadata catalog and check-out/check-in capability for a future release of ArcGIS.