The Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living is a statewide coalition of the 23 regional centers for independent living (CIL) that serve Illinoisans with disabilities. CILs promote full and equal access to our communities for those residents and visitors with disabilities. The mission of INCIL is to help these regional centers share resources and collaborate on statewide issues such as funding and advocacy.
The Arthritis Foundation's Heartland Region office serves Americans with arthritis throughout the upper midwest. Arthritis affects tens of millions of Americans each year - the second most common chronic condition after heart disease. When your organization's constituent base is that large, it's important to make sure that you're offering services to as many people as possible and to make those services as accessible as possible. In this article, we'll examine how the Arthritis Foundation is using mapping technologies to meet those requirements!
The Megafone.net project invites "groups of people on the fringe of society to express their experiences and opinions through face-to-face meetings and mobile phones." They've worked on some very cool projects but I'm most impressed with their urban accessibility maps (thanks to Urban Tick for the link).
The Geneva and Barcelona accessibility maps were created by giving GPS-enabled camera phones to people using wheelchairs. Over a 6-month period, the mapmakers documented inaccessible barriers around their respective cities - each barrier was photographed and placed automatically on a mashup. Common barriers include stairways, inaccessible curbs, escalators, broken elevators, etc.
Mark Belinsky of Digital Democracy wrote an article called Future Now: NYC’s Digital Storybook - it's about his experience working with students in New York City on a webmapping demonstration project. The students used a modified version of Ushahidi software to map ideas and resources in their community. You can check out the resulting web map as well, but Mark's article includes some great background information and analysis.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a new open data initiative, the Community Health Data Initiative, intended to provide tools and data sets for community-level health analysis. As the first part of this initiative, HHS and related government and non-government entities will be collecting and linking to existing data and resources, some of which we've already examined (such as the CountyHealthRankings.org mapplication). The USDA contributes its county-level food and nutrition atlas, useful for visualizing statistics about food deserts, food access, and food insecurity issues, as well as physical activity statistics.
The Red Cross and FEMA jointly operate the National Shelter System, a comprehensive database of over 54,000 emergency shelters across the United States. When shelters are activated during an emergency, this system is used to monitor locations, capacities, and other shelter information. In addition to Red Cross and FEMA staff and volunteers, many state and local organizations use this information as well.