Utilizing GIS in Nonprofit Organizations for Urban Planning Applications: Experiences from the Field


This paper provides detailed examinations on the use of GIS in nonprofit organizations. We interviewed planners and GIS experts in key nonprofit organizations in the City of Chicago to comprehend their actual usages of GIS, faced challenges, and accumulated experiences. Organizations reported on dozens of projects where GIS was used for practical urban planning applications. Findings indicate that nonprofit organizations offer extremely useful lessons on using GIS for projects at the local, regional, and national levels. They provide extensive experiences on GIS technical problems and solutions, methodologies, and data issues. Their projects often support philanthropic efforts and respond to the needs of low-income communities. However, the organizations’ resources are dwindling. This paper raises a concern about the importance of sustaining their GIS operations particularly with the current economic downturn. We call on government officials to support nonprofit organizations in order to ensure the continuity of their GIS activities.

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K. Al-Kodmany, "Utilizing GIS in Nonprofit Organizations for Urban Planning Applications: Experiences from the Field," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 4 No. 4, 2012, pp. 279-297. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2012.44034.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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