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GIS/Mapping Primer for Nonprofits

This article is intended to provide a very high-level conceptual overview of GIS software and geographic/mapping applications and their benefit to nonprofit and community organizations. 

NPO Mapping Case Study: Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living

regional map of illinois centers for independent livingThe 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.

@DigiDem helps NYC students map their community and future!

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.

News Maps: Unauthorized Immigrants and Gulf Oil Spill

screenshot of washington post immigration mapTwo prominent uses of maps as visual aids in news stories late this week - first up, the Washington Post's state-by-state map of "unauthorized immigrants as a percentage of state population."  Based on 2008 data, the map also includes a chart showing the estimated increase of this percentage in Arizona over the past 20 years.  

News Article Describing Indigenous Mapping Efforts

Great article from The Globe and Mail describing the importance of use-and-occupancy maps for tribes and other groups of native peoples.  From the article:

Does a place exist if it isn’t on a map?  In today’s complex regulatory and legal world, the simple answer is that if you can’t prove it’s there, then it’s probably not...

To deal with the burden of proof placed on them by courts and government, native organizations have been mapping the use and occupancy of their lands for about 35 years.



Fair Political District Maps for Illinois

logo for the Illinois Fair Map InitiativeMaps are powerful and important!  That's the caption of a slide in my standard "GIS for nonprofits" presentation, right around the part where I'm trying to teach why nonprofit organizations should care about maps.  Maps aren't always used just to illustrate historical statistics or last year's data - they can also be used to visualize future plans and activities for our communities and our world... with both positive and negative implications.  That's why I think the Illinois Fair Map Initiative's Fair Map Amendment is such an important issue.