If you're anything like me, you can spend hours staring at a beautiful, well-designed map. An old acquaintance of mine decorated his house with framed maps of the various states he'd lived in. Well-made maps and information graphics give me "the big picture" so much faster than plain text. The more complicated the subject, the truer this is.
Librarians struggle on a regular basis with large volumes of information about their communities and the audiences they serve. Whether you're trying to understand the data yourself, or trying to communicate it to decision-makers — or both — anything that makes this process more efficient and effective is worth investigating.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are tools that specialize in helping you understand and visualize large amounts of data. GIS software can help you build maps, but it has many other capabilities related to the querying, visualization, and interpretation of complex data.
As part of our TechSoup Talks series of free technology webinars (aka online seminars), we've invited two GIS experts to share their experiences of helping nonprofits use this powerful technology. Join us Tuesday, February 24 at 11 a.m Pacific as we host an Introduction to GIS Software and ESRI ArcView with Charles Convis of ESRI and Steve Spiker of the Urban Strategies Council.
They'll share real examples of tools created with GIS software to help nonprofits convey their nuanced messages in a simple, powerful format. The demonstration will cover how to take information you already have in your library or office and turn it into a useful map, how to find data and basemaps to build your own maps, and the software you can use for mapping and sharing data.