What are we doing?

We are linking politicians with the areas that they represent. These areas are called electoral districts, or constituencies.

We are using electronic files that describe these districts so that we can connect them with other geographic data, perform analysis on them and automate tasks like producing maps.

What sort of files do we need?

We need files in a suitable vector format, so that they can be read by GIS software. Images of the constituencies, WMS feeds and similar can be helpful, but we do not have the capicity to digitise them.

What levels do we need?

We need to know where we can find electoral district boundary files at these levels:

We have usually found that electoral district boundary files are provided by national institutions. Sometimes we have to find the files for each city separately, but not often.

Sometimes the larger cities have the same status as FLACS, in which case we do not require them to be duplicated.

What is a First Level Administrative Country Subdivision (FLACS)?

Administrative divisions are the areas that a country is separated into for the purposes of administration. When we talk about FLACS level we are referring to First Level Administrative Country Subdivisions. These are the typically the largest areas that a country is divided into.

These are called regions, departments, counties and states among other names.

What do we need to know?

We need to know the location on the web where we can find the files that describe these electoral districts. We do not need you to send us the files, just tell us their location online.

Where do we find files for electoral district boundaries?

Unfortunately there is not one place where these files are kept.

We suggest looking in the following places. Always start by looking for files at a national level as they will often also have the FLACS and city level boundary files as well.

Are administrative divisions the same as electoral districts?

We often find the boundary files for administrative divisions when we are looking for the electoral districts.

Although administrative divisions and electoral districts are not the same thing administrative divisions are sometimes used to form the electoral districts.

Here are some instances worth looking for:

  1. FLACS are often used as electoral districts in the national legislature(s). This is particularly common when a system of proportional representation is used.
  2. Smaller administrative divisions are sometimes combined to create electoral districts. This means several small units are combined to select and be represented by a single member (or group of members) in the legislative body.
  3. Smaller administrative divisions are often used as electoral districts at FLACS level legislatures.
  4. In cases of where the FLACS or City legislature is elected by Proportional Representation there may not be electoral districts, instead there is just the region that the legislative body has jurisdiction over.

Sometimes we find the administrative division shapefiles in one place and the description of how they are used to form the electoral districts in another place.

If you think we can use the administrative divisions then please tell us why. Please include links to both the shapefiles and how they are used to form the electoral districts - in particular please provide a list of which administrative subunits make up each constituency.

What if you can’t find electoral district boundary files?

Please ask any contacts you have in the country for the location of their electoral district boundary files. Posting on social media is very helpful to us as you are more likely to get an answer than we are.