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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. 

HOWTO: Quick and Dirty Google Maps

The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) has long since been a hero to me: the dedication, the participatory politics and the clear and open campaigns that are respectfully fought. It seems only fitting to use their fabulous community resource map - created in conjunction with the Open Youth Network - as an example for this article. First, take a look at what it has going for itself:

Quick and Dirty Thematic Mapmaking for Everyone

A thematic map (wiki link) is a map that illustrates a particular theme.  Most of the "informative" maps we see are thematic maps: weather maps, maps of political results, maps of bicycle paths, etc.

example of a choroplethIn this article, we'll take a step-by-step look at how to make a thematic map  - a choropleth - using free source graphics and free software.