Wednesday, May 23, 2012

[G] Google Maps Engine grants for nonprofits

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Google Lat Long: Google Maps Engine grants for nonprofits

Today, we are excited to announce a new addition to the Google Earth Outreach Grants program. Now, eligible nonprofit organizations in the U.S., U.K., Brazil and Canada can apply for grants of Google Maps Engine, a platform formerly known as Google Earth Builder, for hosting, storing, managing, and styling map data.

Google Earth Builder has been available to businesses since August 2011. A new name is just the beginning. Several nonprofit organizations, including World Wildlife Fund and Eyes on the Forest (a coalition of Sumatran NGOs), as well as Living Oceans Society, have already been using the platform to tell stories and engage their constituents in an interactive way.

It's no secret that the natural habitats of wildlife such as tigers, rhinos, elephants and orangutans are disappearing at an alarming rate. The World Wildlife Fund, in partnership with Eyes on the Forest, uses Google Maps Engine to develop and publish Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data showing the reduction of ranges for these four endangered species. In addition, they are publishing maps on floral diversity and change in carbon stocks and forest cover over time.

While some nonprofits focus on terrestrial conservation, Living Oceans Society works to protect the British Columbia coastline. As GIS and mapping specialists, they create and publish maps such as kayak routes, dive sites, eelgrass beds, and oil and tanker traffic to inform residents of the recreational value of natural habitats as well as inform policy-makers about the risks that increasing industrial practices pose to the ecosystem.

With this addition of Google Maps Engine to the Google Earth Outreach Grants program, we’re releasing three new Google Maps Engine tutorials to educate nonprofits on how to use the product. We’ll also be hosting a Google+ Hangout on the Google Earth Plus page to provide more information about the program and answer questions from potential grant recipients. Tune in by visiting the Google Earth Plus page on May 24th at 10:30 a.m. PDT to join the Hangout on Air.

More information about eligibility for a Google Maps Engine grant and how organizations can apply is available on the Google Earth Outreach Maps Engine for Nonprofits page.

Posted by Tanya Birch, Program Manager, Google Earth Outreach

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