DemLabs blog

Canvas better with smarter software

Canvas better with business software that does more and costs less.

Canvassing is vital to register more voters and mobilize supporters. Think beyond the voter file to find unregistered voters. How can grassroots groups canvas houses not in a voter file? Use other lists or canvas door-to-door to add new records? Conduct community surveys? Do this quickly with little money nor tech savvy?

Companies invest millions in developing software. The same apps work just as well for nonprofits, activism and campaigns. Retail workers, medics, construction workers and policemen all collect data in the field. Canvassing is a relatively simple in comparison.

DemLabs designed this canvassing solution for a nonprofit registering new voters. The solution uses esri ArcGIS and was designed in a few hours without any custom coding. Think of it as creating a new spreadsheet with Microsoft Excel. The program doesn't change, only the data and settings are new.

Canvassing made easy

Better canvassing with smarter software from ArcGIS Online

Esri ArcGIS maps for canvassing

Esri is a global 50 year old software firm based in California with over 15,000 employees and has 49 offices worldwide. ArcGIS is used by federal agencies, companies of all sizes, over 7,000 universities and many nonprofits. Standard software benefits:

  • The software is continuously improved regardless of the election cycle
  • Costs less because the software vendor spreads the costs over a large number of users
  • Includes extensive documentation, training and support services
  • There are a large number of consultants and experts available to help with that software

Better canvassing starts with smarter software

Canvassing app highlights

  • Can be used with any list of address - with or without a voter file
  • Data can be imported and exported out of the system
  • Any number of canvassers can use the system at the same time
  • The app can be used immediately without installing any software
  • Can be used on any phone, tablet or laptop
  • The information collected is displayed immediately 
  • The information that canvassers gather can be customized to a campaign
  • Canvassers can add new records for people who are not on the list
  • Volunteers can be assigned specific areas to canvas (turf cutting)
  • Walking routes for canvassers to visit the most houses in the least time
  • Handle tens of thousands of records per canvassing campaign
  • Cloud based so several campaign managers can collaborate on it at the same time

Take the canvassing app for a test drive

See how easy it is to use the canvassing app and monitoring the results captured on the management dashboard. You can do this without having to logging in or installing any software. 15 locations are shown on the map. Click on any and you can pretend to conduct a survey like a canvasser would. Notice how the results are changed on the map immediately. You can also have a friend log in and pretend to be a canvasser with the same time. You'll see any changes they make on your app as well. This helps canvassers avoid contacting someone who has already been contacted.

Share calls to action with a QR Code

Share your canvassing app as a URL like or in the form of a QR Code. You can generate a QR Code for free by entering a URL in the free QR Code Generator app. You can share the QR Code on social media and all your volunteers have to do is scan the code with their phone to start canvassing. It's also possible to restrict access to the canvassing app with a password so only authorized volunteers can use it.

Convert URLs into QR Codes for free so they are easier to share on social media. And easier for your volunteers to access.

How the app looks on a phone

Enter the URL or scanning the QR Code in an internet browser to launch the canvassing app. The software is smart enough to figure out if you are using a phone, tablet or laptop and resizes itself accordingly.

The canvassing app works on phones, tablets and laptops.

Do it yourself (DIY) or get help

License ArcGIS and build a similar canvassing app yourself, or contact DemLabs for help if you need a hand getting going with canvassing faster.

TakeAway: Register more voters and mobilize supporters with better canvassing using the smart ArcGIS based canvassing app.


How to use the canvassing app

Canvassing solution includes a dashboard for campaign managers and a canvassing app for volunteers going door to door.

Canvassing solution a canvassing app for volunteers going door to door and lets them complete surveys and submit results from their phone.

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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.