One of our customers, the Tides Foundation, recently partnered with Rhiza to analyze the impact of its grantmaking activities. Irene Kao, Project Manager for the Impact and Innovation Department at Tides talks about her experience of using Rhiza Upshot to bring their data to life to tell a continuous story that is meaningful, dynamic, and actionable in a recent blog post on NTEN’s Non-Profit Technology Blog.
Below is a map created by Irene using Rhiza Upshot that looks at the location of the education grants awarded by Tides in 2010 alongside contextual data about the areas of the country where the education needs are the greatest. Irene looked at indicators like per pupil public school funding, reading proficiency, and high school graduation rates. The result was an easy to understand visual framework that can be used to facilitate new conversations about education funding decisions going forward.
In the NTEN blog Irene says “The map, then, becomes the beginning of a story that continues with partner discussions around strategy and what the work looks like in a year, in two years, and onward. By harnessing quantitative data, our community begins a kind of qualitative “choose-your-own-adventure” story – one that empowers people to make decisions based on firmly anchored information and desired impact.”
For a closer look at how Tides is measuring impact, read Irene’s blog post on NTEN’s Non-Profit Technology Blog.
Mapping, at its best, promotes insight and facilitates data-driven decision-making; at its worst, it generates gee-whiz infotainment. The Boston Globe reports:
Maps have increasingly become vehicles not just for telling us how the world looks, but for organizing and representing all sorts of information … The past year saw an explosion of such maps, portraying everything from earthquake devastation to voting patterns to international reading habits – often made on the fly, by citizens, in response to events … if you want to understand what happened in 2008, they are an excellent way to navigate the year.
Josh Knauer, CEO of Rhiza Labs, was invited as a featured speaker at the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) 2008 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The topic of the day at the conference was “Creating Collaborative Communities of Practice: Assessing the Impacts of Public Participation Work” and Josh presented Rhiza’s work with the Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) using Insight to bridge the divide among scientists, policy makers and citizens. The talk was well received and led to a lot of follow up inquiries from those in attendance.
URISA is a nonprofit association of professionals using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other information technologies to solve challenges in state / provincial and local government agencies and departments. URISA is considered to be the premier organization for the use and integration of spatial information technology to improve the quality of life in urban and regional enviroments.
Rhiza Labs Launches Community Insight at Where 2.0, Bringing Online Collaborative GIS Tools to the Public Sector
BURLINGAME, CALIF. and PITTSBURGH, PA. — Rhiza Labs launches Community Insight, a web-based platform for mapping and analyzing multiple datasets that are shared by users with a common interest. Rated as one of the best of the dozen apps previewed on May 12th at Where 2.0, CNET’s Rafe Needleman called it “a very useful tool for any organization trying to make sense of its map-based data.”
Community Insight users range from organizations creating websites for the conservation science field to policymakers using Community Insight to better understand where social service needs and resources intersect. (more…)
Rhiza Labs will give NTEN NTC conference attendees a sneak preview of Databasin.org and the Community Insight application.
On April 15, 2008 Rhiza Labs CEO Josh Knauer and CTO Mike Higgins along with conservation scientist Tosha Comendant presented an overview of the Databasin.org project and shared their insights on the challenges of how to create incentives for people to share public GIS data. (more…)