Maps Can Help A Politician Communicate With Voters
Image Credit: GSL Solutions

As a politician, what is the toughest part of your job? I’d be willing to guess that keeping the people who voted for you up-to-date on what is going on in Washington is probably up towards the top of your list. What we are searching for is a way to concisely get our information across to the large number of people who need to hear it. Is it possible that the best way to go about doing this is to use maps?


The Power Of A Map

Let’s face it, we’re all living in the 21st Century. What this means is that the audiences that we’re dealing with are being oversaturated with tons of multimedia images each and every day. The reason that they are getting so much of this content is that it has been proven to work. The right image at the right time will stick in the mind of the person who sees it and won’t quickly be forgotten.

As a politician, this is exactly the kind of thing that you want to have happen when you share your messages with your voters. Now the big question is how to make it happen. It turns out that the answer may lay in the use of maps.

Think about this for a moment. The good news is that all of the voters that you want to reach out to are very familiar with maps (aren’t we all?) This familiarity means that using maps to communicate information is a great way to connect with voters. Now all we need to come up with is a way to create maps that will help us tell our story.


How HillTop Can Help You To Use Maps

Politicians who have selected GSL Solution’s HillTop service to manage their online content and create their official website are well positioned to maximize the value of maps as an effective communication tool. The reason for this is because HillTop has mapping functionality built into it via its incorporation of Esri GSI mapping software.

Esri mapping software provides HillTop users with powerful tools with which to create custom maps. Unlike other tools, like Google Maps, Esri provides a complete toolset for HillTop users that allows virtually any map to be created and manipulated as a part of your website. Esri provides the underlying maps and then a politician’s staff has the ability to create a virtually unlimited number of map overlays. These overlays can be used to show voters the locations of just about anything.

A great example of someone who is using maps as a part of his HillTop service is James E. Risch, the Senator from Idaho. . On his website he has created a gallery of maps all based on his state of Idaho. Each one of these maps is used to tell his voters a different story. These stories include updates on wildfires, EPA activities in the state, the Senator’s office locations, etc.Each one of these maps clearly and concisely communicates a great deal of information. Senator Risch has solved the problem of how to use maps to grab the attention of his audience and get his message across.


What All Of This Means For You

Communication of information is one of the most important things that any politician can do. The trick is discovering how your voters want to receive the information that you have for them. Taking a look at all of the other types of information that they are being exposed to reveals that images are a key part of an effective communications program.

Politicians who have wisely chosen to use GSL Solutions HillTop service have a powerful tool available to them that can be used to connect with their voters: maps. The incorporation of the Esri GIS mapping toolset allows HillTop users to include any map into their official website. Once this has been done, staff members can create an unlimited number of map overlays that can be used to show voters almost anything that you want to communicate to them.

In the end, maps are a powerful and effective way to communicate information. We are all familiar with maps and so we know what to expect when we see them. This means that if you can find a way to encapsulate your message into a map then you’ll have found a powerful way to connect with your audience.

An effective web site implemented using GSL Solutions’ HillTop service can make the task of communicating using maps much easier to do. HillTop will allow you to ignore the complexity of designing a sharp looking map and instead allow you to focus on creating the content that will help you to get your message across to your voters. Take the time to investigate how you could use maps made using GSL Solutions’ HillTop service to really connect with your voters.

- Dr. Jim Anderson HillTop – Political Web Sites That Get The Vote!™

Question For You: How many maps do you think that you can include in a single website?

GSL Solutions' HillTop service provides politicians with a way to get voters more involved with the political process. HillTop has been designed by politicians, for politicians in order to provide easy-to-use tools that make updating a political website with current and topical information easy to do. The website becomes a powerful communication tool between the politician and the voters. More information can be found at:

Tags: maps, GIS, communication, data, visual, ads, overlay, political web site, campaign, voters, reelected, issues