Tonight’s NetSquared DC meetup will look at how nonprofits are using web maps and discuss emerging tools that are making custom mapping easier, more flexible, and more affordable. I’ll be there presenting on where we see the future of web mapping heading. I’ll specifically discuss the open source map design tool TileMill and how it allows users to quickly turn a spreadsheet of data into a beautiful, custom online map.
Speed, design, and usability are what really matter when communicating data, and custom maps are now a viable option for nonprofits of all budgets. I’ll highlight how three nonprofits have leveraged open source mapping tools to change the way they communicate, showing how A Wider Circle maps its furniture donors and recipients to better target its efforts, how ONE.org has used maps and data to boost public awareness of a humanitarian crisis, and how the urban history initiative People’s District maps its storytelling. Danny Harris from the People’s District will be joining me to talk more about their map tells the stories of DC.
Screenshot of ONE.org’s famine mapping presentation
Lastly I’ll give a sneak peek of our coming soon minimal OpenStreetMap baselayer, which serves as an alternative to the common Google baselayer map we’ve all seen a million times. InterAction will also be presenting tonight on how they use maps to help their member organizations connect and collaborate with the NGO Aid Map, made by our friends at Vizzuality and also powered by open source.
I’m looking forward to meeting with the local NetSquared community and helping more nonprofits communicate their data through smart maps and visualizations. TileMill is only getting easier to use, and with new $5 a month plans for MapBox Hosting, custom web mapping is in reach of a much larger audience.