- Partitioning of ward should be driven primarily by geographic proximity
- Districts need to be updated periodically (perhaps monthly) to account for move ins and move outs.
- District leaders need to always have a hard copy of their list of families on hand.
I'm now thinking of automating the whole process. Basically, there would be 2 inputs: a ward list and a list of DLs (with address information for both). I would write a script which geocodes every family and DL, then calculates the distance of each family from each DL. Next, the script would assign families to DLs as a function of distance, with load balancing to ensure roughly equal number of families in each district. Ultimately, the script will create lists for each DL and email the list to them. They would be responsible for printing off the list and storing it hard-copy in their home. This script would probably run monthly.
I'd rather not reinvent the wheel here. Has anyone heard of a solution that already exists out there? With thousands or wards, I'd be surprised if no one has tried to automate this assignment yet. And if it hasn't been done, perhaps the church should step in and officially build something and make it available for widespread distribution.