Just read a great article from Grassroots Mapping about a public participation GIS project recently conducted for the Cantagallos community in Lima, Peru. To help the community bolster their land claims to the territory they've settled, Grassroots Mapping led an aerial photography gathering mission using helium balloons and a camera. Since the Google Maps / Earth imagery for the region was a few years old and didn't show recent changes to the environment, the detailed up-to-date aerial photography provided a more accurate base map for future public participation mapping efforts!
On January 12th, I co-presented two sessions on nonprofit mapping alongside Matt Blair of Humaninet, sponsored by Humaninet, NTEN, TACS, and PDXTech4Good. Unlike Matt, my slides don't stand alone without me there to narrate, so it took me a little while to get around to annotating them. :) You can see Matt's excellent slide presentations on "Examples of Humaninet's 2009 Projects" and "Geo-Usability" at the Humaninet Maps 2.0 website.
The Ushahidi online mapping platform, first created and used in 2008 to track election-related violence in Kenya, has recently been pressed into service as a disaster response information platform for the Haiti earthquake response. The platform allows for the collection, mapping, and reporting of incidents of various types, via both SMS (text messaging) and the Web. Instead of mapping incidents of violence as in Nairobi, the platform is now being used in Haiti to track emergency reports of various types as well as the humanitarian response.
Last week, we added a new example to our resource library: the Environmental Defense Fund's interactive mapping application of "dirty" heating oil in New York City on a building-by-building level. Because this is a great example of a nonprofit mapping application, I asked the EDF's Kira Marchenese to tell us a little bit more about the data sources, mapping tools, and processes that took place to create this project.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, heating systems cause 50% more pollution in New York City than cars and trucks. EDF obtained data from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in early 2009 showing which buildings in the city use the "dirty" No. 4 or No. 6 heating oil, as opposed to the relatively cleaner-burning No. 2 oil or natural gas. This Flash-based map, created from that data, shows a building-by-building status of heating oil in use, as well as pending applications for fuel changes. In addition, this map features an address search widget so that you can look for a specific building directly.
"Envisioning Development: What is Affordable Housing?" is an interactive Flash-based map of housing and income statistics on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis throughout the New York City area. Although I've seen similar statistical/analytical interactive maps with similar data plenty of times, the aesthetic design and information visualization "impact" of this map is almost breathtaking. This map is part of an online resource toolkit for urban planning and land use education based around NYC, offered by the Center for Urban Pedagogy.