ESRI, the company behind the leading geographic information system (GIS) software, announced a new donation program for nonprofit organizations last week at the Gov 2.0 Summit. Now nonprofits can get ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, or an Enterprise License Agreement for only the administrative fee. Interested, eligible organizations should register for additional information.
ESRI's CEO, Jack Dangermond, made the announcement during "Open Data and the Future of Mapping and Location Based Services," a session where he and Bernard Szukalski, another ESRI employee, showed how mapping data can help people and organizations interpret the massive amounts of data local, state, and federal governments make available.
Several legal aid programs are already mapping data with GIS software to help them advocate for their client communities. Matthew previously pointed to a presentation from Legal Services of Northern California's Race Equity Project that describes how maps helped to support expert testimony and show a town discriminated when providing water services. More information about the Race Equity Project and how they support their work with mapping are available online. Also several programs worked with the Legal Services Corporation Office of Inspector General to evaluate mapping and identify how to help programs take advantage of its potential. Materials and lessons learned from this study are available online.
Numerous resources are available for programs that want to learn more about GIS software and mapping:
- The Illustrated Guide to Nonprofit GIS and Online Mapping (MapTogether)
- GIS Mapping Resources (Legal Services of Northern California)
- A Few Good Mapping and GIS Tools (Idealware)
- GIS Mapping (LSNTAP)
Also, LSNTAP is hosting a series of GIS trainings. The next training is on September 16, and more information is available on LSNTAP's site.