Computer mapping, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications have multiple uses in both higher education and non-profit organizations. Any data that can be associated with a street address or located in space by latitude and longitude can be mapped. One gets not only an attractive map, but also a new level of spatial analysis useful in program and policy decision making.
With a map one get take a new look at admissions or client service areas and how the organization is doing in them.
Managers and staff can visualize geographically need, problems and solutions -- and plan appropriate locations for outreach, intake, admissions, or fundraising.
Program client or student characteristics can be compared to U.S. Census data features of areas where programs operate.
One can better choose the next program or center site in relation to demography, need, transportation, and building availability.
With computer mapping one can visualize the physical aspects of strategic plans and facilities plan.
Only computer mapping programs can easily tell one how many people live within a five mile radius, or a buffer area of a location.
With computer maps one can better understand the distribution of people, animals, plants, rocks, buildings, trees, roads, employers -- all at once.
Non-profit and not for profit GIS ApplicationsNeeds analysis -- where do people who most need a program live? Where are organizations that could benefit?
Prevention program planning and analysis -- where are alcohol outlets, drug houses, crimes located?
Community characteristic knowledge -- e.g., demographic, income, housing types, environmental hazards.
Outreach activity planning (and staff travel efficiency).
Fundraising campaigns -- the spatial link.
Program site location planning and analysis.
Evaluation of site and program accessibilty compared to where clients live or work.
Environmental research and documentation (e.g., sources of pollution along Ballona Creek feeding into Santa Monica Bay).
Wildlife research and analysis (using GPS and GIS together).
Program outcomes evaluation.
Higher Education GIS ApplicationsAdmissions planning and research -- where do applicants, admits, and enrollees come from?
Student enrollment management -- which areas are being best served? Where do dropouts live?
Comparison of student body characteristics to community characteristics (gender, income, poverty, GPA, ethnicity...)
Outreach activity planning -- geographic sequencing, staff travel efficiency.
Alumni fundraising and activity planning by geographic area.
Employer locations -- vocational education, teacher training programs, nursing, etc.
Feeder school demographic and academic characteristics.
Center or new campus site planning.
Campus physical planning -- current and planned buildings, transportation, sidewalks, utilities.
Campus emergency planning -- fire hazards, routes in and out of campus, building location maps.
Academic program applications -- social science research, geography, environmental analyses, agriculture, planning.
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