Net Tuesday April 7: Mapping for Nonprofits — An introduction to GIS

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”.

Presentations from June 3, 2008 Net Tuesday meeting

Our second meeting on June 3 had about 23 people attending, with a good deal of energy and enthusiasm.  We had two presentations.  The slide shows for them are below.  Videos of the presentations will be posted shortly.

The first presentation was by Larry Miller, on Extensible Meeting and Process Management.

The second presentation was by Seth Horwitz and Ivan Boothe, recapping some of the mashups they saw and were most impressed with at the 3rd Annual NetSquared Conference (N2Y3).

Net Tuesday Philly: June 3

Plans are coming together for a great meeting this Tuesday, June 3 at 6:30 PM, at Independents Hall, 32 Strawberry Street in Old City. RSVP now for the June Net Tuesday!

NetSquared 2008 Mashup Challenge and Conference

Highlights from this month’s Net Tuesday will include:

  • A report (with demonstrations) from Seth and Ivan about some of the really cool stuff they saw at the annual NetSquared conference in San Jose. A key feature of the conference was a showcase and competition among 21 finalists of the NetSquared Mashup Challenge. Innovative ideas and applications, combined with deep, authentic commitment to social change, produced some really interesting sites in various early stages of development. We will showcase a few of these, including the winners of the Mashup Challenge, and highlight principles and practices we believe will be useful and interesting to Net Tuesday folks.
  • A short presentation by Larry Miller of the I Do Foundation about their use of extensible meeting and process management.
  • A live update from the Philly WiFi forum happening simultaneously up at Temple University.  NOTE:  This meeting has been postponed to June 18, so there won’t be an update at the Net Tuesday meeting.

Plus, plenty of time for schmoozing, networking and getting to know one another.

The June Meeting is sponsored by WomenMatter.com — Engaging Women in the Political Process

Good ideas, good people. Hope to see you there! RSVP now.

Update: Presentations from this Net Tuesday are available online.