Redistricting is different than most issues that come up in County government. Instead of being limited to saying you support or oppose a County-prepared ordinance or resolution, you can draw a map yourself!

There are different tools for different purposes, and different tools for different levels of technical skill and interest.

1. Paper-only maps

Paper maps may be printed from the website (printers are available at the local library), or hard copies are available at the County Executive Office.

Tools needed:

  • Public Participation Kit – Paper Map w/ Population Count (in English or Spanish)

2. Paper maps with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to calculate population totals

Tools needed:

  • Public Participation Kit – Paper Map w/ Population ID#s (in English or Spanish)
  • Public Participation Kit – Excel Spreadsheet (in English or Spanish)

3. DistrictR – a simple online map drawing tool to easily draw neighborhoods or communities of interest.

Tools needed:

  • DistrictR – this mapping tool link may no longer be accessible following the completion of the 2020-2021 redistricting process.
  • An important note about using DistrictR:
    • When you use DistrictR, please be mindful of what the percentage value displayed at the bottom right side of the page is actually showing you. It shows the maximum population deviation, which takes the district that is furthest away from the ideal (either over or under), and tells how much it deviates from that ideal.
    • This is not the same thing as the total population deviation that we often refer to. The total population deviation is the sum of the absolute values of the greatest positive deviation and the greatest negative deviation.
    • To illustrate with DistrictR ID 71198, District 1 has the maximum population deviation of 5.28%, which is also the greatest negative deviation. But this absolute value needs to be added to the greatest positive deviation, which is 4.04%, because District 3 is 3,606 over. That number is then divided by the ideal of 89,341. This yields a total population deviation of 9.32%, which is still balanced.
    • If you are unsure of your own calculations, aim for a maximum population deviation that is under 5%.
  • Another note about DistrictR:
    • The DistrictR tool that has been updated with the official population data (which you can access by clicking the purple button) provides demographics for the voting age population by race/ethnicity. This is distinct from the citizen voting age population (CVAP) that was provided by the tool when it was using the estimated population. Unfortunately, the makers of DistrictR no longer provide CVAP data with their updated tool, even though it is the most relevant information when it comes to Voting Rights Act compliance.
    • CVAP data is available on the updated MOR tool (see below).
    • The data report included with each posted map also includes accurate, current CVAP data. This will be the source relied upon by the Commission in their analysis and deliberations.

4. Caliper’s Maptitude Online Redistricting (MOR) – a mapping tool to draw maps census block by census block and submit maps electronically.

Tools needed:

5. Santa Barbara County Interactive Map to zoom in and out on map boundaries, view population counts/ID#s, and view draft maps (once the draft maps are released).

Tools needed:

6. Additional Map-Drawing Resources

Submit maps to If you would like to submit a map created using your own software, please email to and include: (1) a GIS Shapefile and/or a Census Block equivalency file (using 2020 Census Blocks); and, (2) a description of the choices and key points of your map. After you submit your map, the demographic consultants will generate the population and other demographic details for your proposed map. Maps can be viewed on the Draft Maps page or on the Interactive Review Map.

Commenting on the maps you develop is also helpful. Comment features are built into Maptitude allowing you to submit comments and reference the map name you have created. For DistrictR maps, you can either reference the URL or the name of the map if you have created one and submit comments on the features of your map by visiting the Contact page or emailing