Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nonprofit mapping, an illustrated guide

The folks at have put together a fun and friendly Illustrated Guide to Nonprofit GIS and Online Mapping. Check out the clever cover graphic.

Here's what they have to say about obstacles to mapping projects (page 15):
Privacy: many nonprofit organizations collect address or other relevant data about their constituents, clients, donors, partners, and other community members. It's crucial to safeguard any data that has an expectation of privacy.

Community representation: it's critical that all stakeholders are considered during mapping/GIS projects, especially those projects that will influence decisions made concerning the community in question.

Discrimination issues: maps and GIS have been used to promote diversity, fair housing, and fair election practices, but they've also historically been used for discriminatory purposes against certain races or groups.

Intellectual property issues: in addition to software licensing issues concerning mapping/GIS software, many sources and types of data are embargoed by various intellectual property protections, such as copyrights and license agreements.
Along the way, they point to an interesting article on Idealware, on Understanding the Alphabet Soup of Data Exchange, which is a good general summary of the challenges of data integration in non-profits.

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