iMAPS Usage:  Voting Precincts vs. Municipal Corporate Boundaries

Last Updated:   10/1/22  13:28

The iMAPS home page has general information about the tool and a link to detailed Help documentation. There is also a Help dropdown at the upper right part of the iMAPS display; click the three-horizontal-bars icon.

The following example shows how to display intersections between voting precincts and municipal corporate boundaries. This is very important for municipal elections.

  1. Open the iMAPS program.
  2. Click the Property Search (magnifying glass) icon in the far right sidebar. In the "Address, owner, PIN, or REID" field at the top, enter an address. It could be an address near the area of interest, or you could just enter your own Wake County address and then drag/zoom the map (covered below) to get to the area of interest.
  3. You may be shown a dropdown list as you type the address, showing items close in spelling to what you have typed so far. Click on one of these with the mouse left button. Or just keep typing until only one selection is possible; then click it or press Enter.
  4. If the address was found, that lot will be highlighted on the displayed map and much information about the address will be displayed in a sidebar on the right. Note the sidebar's scrollbar on the far right.
  5. You can slide around the map by holding down the left mouse button and dragging. You can zoom in and out by rotating your mouse's scroll wheel, or by clicking the "+" and "-" buttons at the upper left side of the display.
  6. The layer facility of iMAPS lets you overlay the displayed map with colored regions and borders to highlight areas having selected characteristics, e.g., municipal corporate areas. Click on the Layers icon in the far right sidebar; it looks like a stack of three rectangles. Hovering the mouse over an icon will display an explanatory tooltip.
  7. This presents an extensive list of layers you can turn on or off individually. The list is hierarchical -- clicking a layer to turn it on may present a subordinate list of layers you can turn on/off. Multiple layers can be turned on simultaneously.
  8. For this example, click the Electoral layer group. Click the triangle icon at the left to display a sublist of layers. In the sublist, click the Precincts layer. This puts a colored border around each precinct and displays precinct numbers. You may have to zoom out to see this.
  9. Clicking within a precinct does a temporary, light color fill of that precinct. You can turn off the fill by clicking the X in the popup or by clicking within another precinct. Clicking on the "Zoom to" in the popup will center that precinct on the screen, automatically zooming in or out as needed. The popup obscures the precinct; you can move it off the precinct by clicking the Dock icon in the popup.
  10. Note the slider in the sidebar that appeared when you clicked Precincts. Moving it back and forth controls the transparency of the precinct border lines (and color fill, if present) from 0% to 100%. Such a transparency control applies to other layers you can select, as we will be doing in the next step to color (municipal) corporate areas.
  11. Now also select the Planning and Development layer and then the Corporate Limits layer under it. For this example make sure the Planning Jurisdictions layer is turned off. Note that Corporate Limits also has a transparency slider; it controls the transparency of the fill colors for the corporate areas.
  12. Now by dragging the map, zooming in and out, and adjusting the two transparency sliders, you can easily see how various municipal corporate limits intersect with various voting precincts.
  13. When you are finished, turn off the layers you don't want to see the next time you use iMAPS because iMAPS saves the last selection(s) in case you want to repeatedly have the same views.

Here is an example of what might be produced by iMAPS after some further processing. I wanted to take what iMAPS displayed, add some explanatory text, and create a file for my website which would be easy for anyone to view. After following the procedure itemized above to display the area of interest, I used Microsoft Window's Snip & Sketch tool to save to the clipboard the part of the map display I wanted, then used Windows Paint to turn the clipboard data into a PNG (picture) file. I then used used Microsoft PowerPoint to make the PNG image the background for my slide to which I added a title, the color key sidebar, the arrows, and the text box. Finally, I had PowerPoint save the slide as a PDF file, suitable for uploading to my website. Of course, many other tools could be used to process an iMAPS display.

To get an idea of iMAPS' other abilities, take a look at the various dropdowns and buttons, e.g., Property Select and Measure. On the sidebar resulting from an address search (see item 4 above), you can see such things as property pictures, deeds, tax data, and government services/contacts. Using Basemaps you can choose from a number of things to have as a background for the main display, including aerial images, historical views, and topographic maps.

Jeff Knauth