MAIN offers mapping tool for activists

The nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) has launched a mapping tool prototype for citizens and grassroots groups in Western North Carolina.

For years, big corporations and government agencies have enjoyed the power of GIS and data visualization to shape public policies and public opinion. Until now, the cost and technical complexity of these tools have kept them out of the reach of average citizens.

MAIN is partnering with community media groups in California, Vermont, Washington, and South Carolina to develop this suite of GIS and data visualization tools. In the months ahead, we will be expanding this prototype by adding more WNC counties, new layers of data, and new applications.

MAIN is also seeking funding to provide tutorials in the use of GIS/DV for staff and volunteers with WNC grassroots organizations.

Please visit the link above for a preview of MAIN’s “Mapping Western North Carolina” website. And while you are there, please fill out the brief “Civic Engagement” survey. It’s quick, anonymous, and it could help MAIN and its partners compete for the Knight Foundation’s “Civic Data Challenge.”

Feedback is welcome at: webmaster@main.nc.us

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