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Optimizing Canvassing with Color-Coded Precincts

by | Apr 21

As midterms approach and pandemic restrictions start to lift, in-person canvassing has surged in importance again, and organizers are starting to get reacquainted with critical field canvassing tools.  We wanted to take a moment to highlight a powerful tool within PDI to help you manage your field initiatives. 

PDI users can now color-code precincts (also known as thematic scaling) in the canvassing mapping module. While these maps usually require specialized mapping software or Tableau to create, you can easily color-code precincts to identify significant precincts based on data from any of your saved universes.

Our Data Visualization Strategy

This feature has been a long time coming. As far back as the 1990s, we knew that precinct data is far more valuable when displayed visually on a map instead of a spreadsheet or grid. Our goal was simple: take the large precinct map off the wall and integrate it with your voter and canvasser data in the PDI platform. Having the ability to visualize data in new ways is game-changing for door-to-door canvassing.

Thematic Scaling PDI Platform Screenshot

This latest feature is a new take on an old problem. How do you efficiently manage the use of voter data, canvasser data, and geographic data to ensure you are maximizing canvassers’ impact in the most optimal areas?  The first step is to understand which precincts have the highest concentration of your target voters. 

Organize Your Data With Thematic Scaling

Thematic Scaling uses any of your saved universes (including canvassing projects) and allows you to create custom buckets for result ranges that reflect your data.  Using this feature, you can identify propensity, mail ballot status, supporters, precincts you have already canvassed, and more. The color-coded maps are interactive, so as you see a priority precinct, you can click on the precinct to assign a canvasser right from the map. 

Here’s how you can use thematic scaling to optimize your canvassing:

  • First, you’ll need to create a Canvassing Project in PDI. If you don’t have a PDI account, you can get started here.
  • After creating your Canvassing Project, click on the Show Color-Coded Precincts button to set it up. You’ll be able to choose the criteria you want to use and how you want to color code the precincts.
  • Then, hit Save. Once your new map is displayed, you can click on each precinct to assign canvassers to it.

Unifying three different analog pieces of field canvassing on one map is exactly the kind of feature we love building at PDI – streamlining the campaign process and helping organizers reduce overhead so you can focus on meaningful conversations with the right reaching people.

Stay tuned for more exciting features coming from PDI, and get in touch with one of our experts if you’re interested in learning more.