Thursday, May 7, 2009
Our friends at MapAction have created a great new publication. Their Field Guide to Humanitarian Mapping was produced "to help humanitarian organisations to make use of mapping methods using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related technologies". You can download the first edition for free (3.2MB PDF).
While the free field guide is designed to help organizations doing emergency work, it is relevant to many other organizations, and anyone looking to take advantage of geospatial tools and methods like GPS technologies for collecting data, free & open-source GIS software such as MapWindow for processing and analyzing data, and Google Earth and Google Maps for visualization and display.
Early last year, MapAction published a briefing paper (1MB PDF) on the use of Google Earth in the humanitarian sector. Since then, we've added several new features, like imagery acquisition dates and historical imagery, touring, ocean, and free GPS data import, all of which help users to visualize, share and explore their places and data in new and exciting ways.
Another great new resource is A Nonprofit's Introduction to Google's Online Mapping Tools, recently posted on TechSoup by Chris Peters and Mano Marks. It provides excellent advice on how organizations that have data to display can effectively use Google Maps and Google Earth for outreach and advocacy.
Some more handy Google Earth and Google Maps resources include:
Finally, Google has a full suite of free tools available to non-profits on the Google for Non-Profits page.