By Par for the Course  | February 4, 2011 | 07:07
For all the political junkies out there, free software allows you to draw your own Congressional or state legislative districts. Going even further, two States, Idaho and Florida, appear to be implementing or developing online software to get feedback from the public.
It will be interesting to to see what impact these new technologies will have on the process. Certainly, public participation is good for the process, but I reserve judgement when special interest groups get involved:
The rise of do-it-yourself redistricting 
By Josh Goodman, Stateline Staff Writer
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Already, reform-minded groups are planning on using these tools to create a shadow redistricting process, intended to provide alternatives to the political gerrymanders that partisan legislatures often produce. In Indiana, for example, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and AARP have come together to sponsor a citizen redistricting commission. The commission, led by two former legislators — one Democrat and one Republican — will conduct hearings around the state and then formulate its own redistricting plan. If the Indiana Legislature draws maps that promote the interest of the majority Republicans, or that protect incumbents, the citizen commission will be ready to go to the public and the media with its alternative.
“The purpose of the commission,” says Julia Vaughn, policy director for the state chapter of Common Cause, “is to birddog the Indiana General Assembly.” Maps drawn through a shadow redistricting process not only could be used or adapted by legislators themselves, but also could be considered by judges in states where the official maps ultimately wind up in court.
The link to the free redistricting software is at the above article.