GerryChain is a Python library for building ensembles of districting plans using Markov chain Monte Carlo. It is developed and maintained by the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group and our network of volunteers. It is distributed under the 3-Clause BSD License.
The basic workflow is to start with the geometry of an initial plan and generate a large collection of sample plans for comparison. Usually, we will constrain these sampled plans in such a way that they perform at least as well as the initial plan according to traditional districting principles, such as population balance or compactness. Comparing the initial plan to the ensemble provides quantitative tools for measuring whether or not it is an outlier among the sampled plans.
See our Getting started guide for the basics of using GerryChain.
We also highly recommend the resources prepared by Daryl R. DeFord of MGGG for the 2019 MIT IAP course Computational Approaches for Political Redistricting.
Using conda (recommended)
conda install -c conda-forge gerrychain
For this command to work as intended, you will first need to activate
the conda environment that you want to install GerryChain in. If
the environment you want to activate is called
vrdi (for example),
then you can do this by running
conda activate vrdi
If this command causes problems, make sure conda is up-to-date by running
conda update conda conda init
For more information on using conda to install packages and manage dependencies, see Getting started with conda.
To install GerryChain from PyPI, run
pip install gerrychain from
the command line.
This approach often fails due to compatibility issues between our
different Python GIS dependencies, like
shapely. For this reason, we recommend installing
from conda-forge for most users.