Mapping (GIS) uses by nonprofits.
Just doing some
research for the book, looking for interesting uses of mapping by
nonprofits and political campaigns. Here’s a compendium of findings
thus far. (Sorry, the formatting in Typepad is incredibly frustrating - it messes up everything!!) Updated 8.24.07
Not actually using consumer-driven mapping – but are studying google maps to identify abuses. Question: how often are they updated? Must be somewhat frequently for them to be of use in this manner. More info here: http://www.netsquared.org/blog/john-lorance/indians-use-google-earth-and-gps-to-protect-amazon
Wow. This is one of the best internet apps I’ve seen. Combines Google Earth with written and video stories. Gives a tour of mining practices and shows destruction first hand. So impressed that I made a donation.
Be The Full Stop
Allows people and organizations to put themselves on a map if they support stopping child cruelty. Also has an events layer (although there aren’t any listed). Broken in FireFox. More info here: http://www.netsquared.org/blog/steve-bridger/google-maps-to-visualize-the-aggregated-actions-of-supporters. Interesting idea. Doesn’t work very well. Limited interaction. No real use other than to visualize people around you. Might be cool if there were photos of people around you and a way to connect with them. Is kind of gimmicky at present.
Bike a thon
Uses MS. Live maps to tell story of a bike-a-thon that happened in 2006. Has audio, video, 360 degree panoramas, and lots of neat features that I haven’t seen on other maps. Looks like it’s microsoft’s example of what can be done with their maps. The UI is a bit too much, but is a compelling app overall. But is very very slow, unresponsive at times.
A kick ass project by Christian Nold. He outfits people with galvanic skin response readers and sends them out in their neighborhoods and then maps their arousal to various locations/events – as self reported by the person when they come back from their walk.
Discursive Mapping System
Says that it integrates a bulletin board with map. Very confusing UI
On google earth. I came across a tea icon in Google Earth – linked to popup that shows the farmer. Great concept. Can’t figure out how to turn on the Fair Trade layer though (as per instructions on their website).
In theory, shows where people have been hit on their bicycles in Seattle. Throws 105 error alerts before you can use it. Beware. http://www.ghostcycle.org/allghostcycles.php. Powerful concept. Click a location and it jumps to that area of the map.Click the story number to read a story about the accident along with a photo. Would be better if these loaded right on the map. More info here: http://www.netsquared.org/ghostcycle
Genetically Engineered farms in france. Very simply map with two points
Map of voyage defending oceans:
Really cool simple map that draws attention to environmental issues. Links in balloons lead you quickly to more information.
Google Earth Showcases:
Ton’s of good stuff here. All using google earth.
John muir’s life
Is a big social network, but link above maps recent comments from activists around the world. Neat way to see what other people are saying around a given topic area and to visualize their proximity to you.
By the WHO. Updates on diseases and outbreaks.
Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS
Participatory map. Add yourself as a supporter and see other supporters. Wasn’t working when I visited.
Users collaborate to map charitable food providers, WIC offices (what’s that?), food stamp centers, farmer’s markets, and “you name it.” I think this project is a generalization of the NYC project above – but the connection is a little unclear. They have some maps on their site, but they just list seemingly random addresses.
More info here: http://www.netsquared.org/projects/proposals/hungermaps
Jane Goodall Chimp Blog
Scrollable map on web page in satellite view. Doesn’t provide much information. Just links to Google Earth. When you open Google Earth, you can read the blog in it. Seems circular. Also buggy. Links don’t open from blog.
A wiki that shows a ton of map projects including some activism ones.
New York City Coalition Against Hunger
Type in zip code to find food kitchens.
Type in your zip code to find free summer meals.
To find farmers markets: http://www.nyccah.org/maps/farmers2007/
Info about the program: http://www.nyccah.org/node/92
Neighborhood Knowledge California
“NKCA serves as [CA] statewide, interactive website that assembles and maps a variety of databases that can be used in neighborhood research. Its aim is to promote greater equity in housing and banking policy by providing a set of web-based tools for documenting and analyzing trends.” Very very interesting. In few mins I generated a map of 18-21 year olds in my neighborhood. UI could be a lot better and maps are hard to read, but really nice job overall. One feature lets you upload your own data. Not clear if it’s then shareable.
“Refugees spend valuable time searching for nearby services and a social network. NiJeL will create an interactive mapping tool to give refugees and their providers a valuable baseline of spatial data and allow refugees to map their new communities”. Sounds good in theory. Don’t see anything from them yet though. (just opened a month ago).
Shows major oil spills since 1960. Very light. Not very compelling.
Awesome mashup of data and maps. Shows who, what, and where is polluting your community. Plus allows you to map nearby schools! UI could be a lot better, but the concept is so strong. Would be interesting to tie it into advocacy – eg: here is the top polluter in your state, click here to send a request to your senator.
Really comprehensive resource for people living in Portland. See crimes, prop values, census, transportation. Has a Google earth version.
San Francisco Urban Forests
Very clunky. Barely seems to work.
Not sure what story it’s trying to tell. Uses “MapGuide.” Didn’t load at all in
FireFox. More info at:
Sure wish it worked.
Starbucks Challenge Map
Anecdotal tracking of Starbucks stores living up to their fairtrade promises. Got people across the world involved in the mapping effort.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
On Google Earth
Wow. This is really compelling. A bit confusing to navigate, but compelling once you get the hang of it. Layers: photos, stories, damaged villages, destroyed villages, testimonials, camp locations, 3d columns showing #s of people displaced (looks best in angled view). Loads web pages with additional details into built in reader. This really tells the story. Might be even better with an audio track and a guide.
US Presidential Primaries
Shows results from polls.
Youth Movement Mapping Project
Wow. A comprehensive resource listing for-youth and by-youth programs around the world (but mostly in the US). Can add yourself to the map (on Frappr. Blech). Great data. Crappy implementation.
Most (all?) of these use Google’s API. They do all of the hard UI work so that you can just create a map and share it.
Make your own maps using their service combined with google maps.
More info here: http://www.netsquared.org/communitywalk
Hot maps right now are related to entertainment, shopping, and restaurants. Looks like they have some nonprofit uses like helicopter landing zones in Pakistan. Nonprofit uses are limited thus far, but for no good reason other than no-one has used it yet. This service is great. Saves all the work of learning Google’s API. Here’s a great net2ed map of nonprofits that have been profiled by them: http://www.communitywalk.com/map/1356
Is a lot like community walk. Make your own map. Not much nonprofit stuff (that I could find). Navigation a bit clunky and UI is terrible. Example of it being used to show computer recycling centers: http://www.refurbishedcomputers.us/ and more info here: http://www.netsquared.org/blog/marshallkirkpatrick/mapping-a-community-of-practice
Like Frappr and Community Walk. Again, not a whole lot of npo use. UI a little better than Frappr, but not as good as community walk.
Create, share, explore maps. Another mapping service. UI much better than mapbuilder and frappr. Great area for comments right below the maps
Other ones that I haven’t yet checked out:
Some interesting non-nonprofit apps:
Sightseeing “Place” in Google Earth
Not nonprofit related, but wow again. Took the tour of the grand canyon. It sure is impressive.
Add info about a location
This, of course, being one of the very first maps mashups.
Shows fast food by city. I’d love to see this mashed up with weight and health data.
About Google’s Mapping Products
Google Earth is a virtual globe program. It maps the earth by superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography, and GIS 3D globe. It is available under three different licenses: Google Earth, a free version with limited functionality; Google Earth Plus, which includes a few more features; and Google Earth Pro, intended for commercial use. Because Google Earth has a digital elevation model (DEM), one can view features (like the Grand Canyon) or Mount Everest in 3D (something that has been attractive to organizations trying to get the message out about their cause be it genocide or environmental destruction). Google Earth is able to show all kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth.
The Google Earth Community is an online forum which is dedicated to producing placemarks of interesting or educational perspectives. For a $400 annual subscription fee, Google Earth Pro is a business-oriented upgrade to Google Earth that has more features than the "Plus" version. The Pro version includes add-on software such as: moving making, GIS data importer, advanced printing modules.
Google Earth Outreach allows non-profits or public benefit groups to use Google Earth, and gives away Earth Pro license grants.
Google Street View
Google’s Street View feature for Google Maps enables users to see certain parts of several big US cities through panoramic images that have been taken by cars outfitted with cameras, which have been sent through major cities. Through Street View one can view street level photographs, take virtual walks (pan, rotate, and zoom), explore cityscapes and landmarks, and find shops and restaurants.
Google earth sure does make the world feel small. As the earth spins and takes you from Darfur to Arizona, it makes me feel much more connected and that Darfur is less abstract. Of course, going though the photos and stories of survivors increases the connection. There is a Global Awareness layer – wonder what you have to do to become a part of it. Needs to be an easier way to share a location with someone.
All photos are powered by Panoramio. Seems to be a Google property.
Too bad MS Live is so unresponsive. It has a lot of great features. I haven’t seen anyone using it other than their demo.
A lot of these apps are replete with errors. Still figuring it out.