Import/Export Options in Districtr

Direct Upload

Currently, only JSON files downloaded from Districtr are supported in our direct upload. Information on other file types and ways to upload are described below.

Summary Chart

Districtr’s options for exporting and importing data are summarized in the following chart. Scroll down for more information on each.

Format Export Available Import Available Use for... Examples* link Yes Yes Sharing, building on others’ maps, submitting to commissions Districts link
Communities link
JSON Yes (download) Yes, if our units are used (Coming in March: upload communities into Districting mode) Adding communities as base layers in districts, using in other redistricting programs Districts JSON
Communities JSON
Shapefile Yes (download) No Analysis in QGIS/ArcGIS/python, using in other redistricting programs Districts shapefile
Communities shapefile
Print to PDF Yes (download) No Submitting to commissions, hanging on your wall Districts PDF
Communities PDF
Unit assignment file (CSV) Yes (download) Yes (except landmarks) Having a list of district assignments or communities in the building blocks you chose, analysis in python Districts CSV
Communities CSV
GeoJSON In progress (Coming in March) Yes, if our units are used Analysis in QGIS/ArcGIS/python, using in other redistricting programs Coming soon
* The Districting mode examples are for Lowell, Massachusets. The Communities mode examples are for the St. Louis, Missouri area and are from collaborator Monyai Chavers.

Format Descriptions link

Create this to share with anyone on the internet, including Districtr events and commissions.

A unique link takes a complete snapshot of your districts or communities. If you are the creator and are in the original browser session, you can update it without changing the link. When you open and edit someone else’s map (or your own at a later time), and click share, this will generate a new unique link.


A JSON file exported from Districtr can be directly re-uploaded into Districtr. If you start a new map in the state or area the file was made in, you can load the JSON by dragging and dropping it onto that blank map. JSON files can also be used in some other redistricting programs.

Coming in February, it will also be possible to upload a .json file made in Communities mode into Districting mode. This will enable you to view your communities as a static layer.


Download a shapefile to use in desktop mapping software (e.g., QGIS and ArcGIS), python, and some other redistricting programs. If you want to generate a block equivalency file with your communities or districts, we recommend downloading a shapefile, the Census data you need, and then converting in QGIS or python.

A shapefile is the name for a group of files (.shp, .dbf, .prj, .shx, .sbn), and a shapefile download is a zipped folder containing all of these files. In addition to your districts or communities, a shapefile also includes any election and Census data that was available based on the region and building blocks you chose, along with enacted Congressional and State Legislature districts, as applicable.

In Communities mode, when you download a shapefile, a GeoJSON file will also be included in the zipped folder. The shapefile contains your communities, and the geojson contains the important places.

This download can take a few minutes for larger states.

Print to PDF

In Districting mode, this will print the current view on your screen. In Communities mode, this will generate a short report, including an image of your map along with the text you wrote about the communities and important places. PDF files generated in Communities mode may be especially useful for submitting to commissions.

You can print to PDF by using your computer’s print shortcut.

Comma-separated values (CSV)

A CSV file will list the districts or communities you made along with their assignment according to the building blocks used (precincts, block groups, etc.). It does not include additional data or unassigned building blocks. A CSV is the smallest file generated. It can be joined to a shapefile for the same locality with the same building blocks in mapping software or python.


This is on track to be added in March. A GeoJSON can be used in desktop mapping software (e.g., QGIS and ArcGIS), python, and other redistricting programs.