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The Goodies Go Geo

Oh man...did I tell you that geospatial programs and plug-ins were hot or what? It seems my doe-eyed hippie brethren is getting down with it's global self.

Wiser Earth, a network of peaceniks, greenies, do-gooders, animal lovers and lovable Lefties has created a Google Maps mash-up of NGO's and progressive gatherings. You can even zoom in on your own neighborhood to find out which orgs and events are a stone's throw away. Station advocates on strategic corners for optimal petition-signing. Get yourself a volunteer gig right next door. Donate left-over conference sandwiches to the closest food bank or shelter. It's all happening man. IT IS ALL HAPPENING.

Meanwhile, Google Earth has taken a slightly different approach and is asking non-profit organizations to map their projects.


Launched in late June at the Nonprofit and Technology Network's NY conference, Google Earth Outreach is a new program designed to give user's a truly enlightening experience.

While eating your morning cereal you can track over 150 of the World Wildlife Fund's projects, tour the deforestation of the Earth's Rainforests (above) with the United Nations Environment Programme or watch Vancouver's sea level rise (and engulf the airport and my hometown) with the Sierra Club.

Armed with a series of tutorials a free Google Earth account or a Google Earth Pro Grant, non-profit organizations can display the visual and ever-evolving impact of their work.

In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), attributed 56 direct deaths to the Chernobyl Tragedy (47 accident workers, and nine children with thyroid cancer). They also reported an additional 4,000 suspected thyroid cancer deaths in children.

Yes. We all know Chernobyl was and is awful. Now what?

Imagine looking at cancer hotspots, nuclear disasters, industrial waste treatment plants and a synopsis of local chemical policy on the same map? Given the right collaborators, a good statistical aggregator and some gumption, we can already do it.

Google Earth's Public Health section is freaking fascinating. While there are only 5 sample projects tracking avian influenza, malaria and dengue fever, this feature may effectively change how governments and chemical corporations do business.

Oh yeah! Let's get Erin Brokovich on their asses!

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