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open data

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.

VisualPlace: Australian Map Visualization

The government of Victoria, Australia recently created a pilot project to allow visualization and mapping of data from the state government.  This application requires Silverlight.

From the VisualPlace blog:

"The purpose of VisualPlace is to show the value of an interactive GIS-enabled service for the visualisation of location based government information."

Breaking Through Canada's Data Wall

Disclaimer - I'm an American who is just dipping his toe in the waters of open data and transparency issues in Canada - I welcome input from those more informed :-)

After releasing our "Guide to Nonprofit Mapping" last week, we quickly got inquiries from countries outside the US seeking localized and translated versions (which is underway! :-).  While exchanging emails with some colleagues in Canada, I started researching the availability of Canadian data sources.  First, I tried to find the Canadian equivalent to the US federal government site, a repository of publicly available data from executive branch agencies in the US government (the UK has a similar site,  The closest thing I could find after some cursory searching was the website for Statistics Canada (StatCan) the official government body tasked as Canada's central statistical agency.


OpenDataLinks, operated by, is a portal collecting open government data applications from around the world (but primarily in Canada, where the organization is based).

Cancer Mortality Maps and Graphs

An interactive mapping client, lets you see the data before you.

Make you come back to see an article on making excel files in to geographical represented data.