Mapping and Geographic Information Systems for nonprofits

Posted by on March 23, 2009

For our next Net Tuesday on April 7, we are privileged to have Robert Cheetham present on mapping and geographic information systems for nonprofits.

From Google Earth to GeoRSS, maps and geography services are changing the way we interpret our world and engage with communities. The presentation will explore how geographic information systems (GIS) technology is being used to enhance the missions, meet the challenges, and answer the questions faced by non-profit organizations.

Applications cover a broad range of disciplines, including:

* political advocacy
* education
* neighborhood redevelopment
* social services
* public health
* constituency building
* public safety
* and disaster response

Almost any activity you conduct has a geographic component to it. Consequently, technology that leverages that geography can help improve communities, support better decisions, and demonstrate needs, progress, and program impact to boards of directors, stakeholders, and funders.

Robert will present some case studies of applications in nonprofit organizations and will progress from relatively simple processes to more complex analysis. Topics will include:

* the process of assigning locations to lists of addresses (geocoding)
* using geography to organize and search community assets
* incorporating map-based reports into grant applications
* visualizing the geographic and demographic patterns in donor and audience groups
* demonstrating electoral support for political reform
* prioritizing resources (real estate, natural resources and the like)
* software tools and local data resources for getting started

Bio: Robert Cheetham has been applying GIS technology to help nonprofits and government agencies for more than 12 years. He is the founder and president of Avencia, a software design and development firm based in Philadelphia. Avencia develops geographic analysis tools and services for government, nonprofit, commercial and research organizations. Previously, Robert served as the Senior GIS Developer for the City of Philadelphia and as Crime Analyst for the Philadelphia Police Department. Robert also serves as an occasional lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design; collaborates with the Cartographic Modeling Lab at Penn; serves on the advisory committee for the Masters in GIS program at Penn State University and is Director of the Japanese Garden Research Network, a nonprofit, online database of information on Japanese gardens.

We want to thank our sponsor for this month, NPower Pennsylvania, whose mission is “to ensure all nonprofits can use technology to better serve our community”.

This will be a fascinating and useful topic. RSVP’s via the Meetup Page are appreciated, but not necessary. Feel free to show up and bring a friend.

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