Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a tool used to creates maps to understand the geography of different areas such as particular communities and electorates and better understand spatial patterns and relationships. You can gather information from a variety of sources to help you build a visual and analyse information that could be useful, for example, on where to focus your organising efforts before an upcoming election e.g. layer information such as census data from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), electoral boundary information from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and your organisational members’ postcodes.
Michael Pulsford, a Community Organiser at the Australian Conservation Foundation, has used a GIS platform called QGIS, which is free and open-source and has created and shared a document to help one get started.
QGIS for organisers
- What we’ll cover
- What we won’t
- What QGIS is
- Basic concepts
- What kinds of data are useful to organisers, and where are they?
- Keeping data organised
- There are three big chunks of tasks with QGIS
Example 1: get a basemap
Example 2: federal electorate boundaries / adding and styling a shapefile
Example 3: polling booth locations / adding and styling CSV point data
Example 4: add 2PP data to polling booths / joining non-spatial data to spatial data
Example 5: adding and styling census data