The idea for "GEOcracy" began way back near the beginning of the internet. In 1995 my son Aran and I put together our Santa Cruz Toxic Release Inventory. It was the first web-based interactive toxic map project in the U.S. We decided to do the project because we felt that too few people knew anything about EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and had very little knowledge of the toxic chemical sites in our neighborhood.
Soon after doing this project we were hired by Environmental Defense (ED) to do the map interface for their Scorecard project. This was a wonderful project. Once we were done with the ED project, we worked on several others, but none of them provided the tools and data that folks in communities could use to create their own maps.
We began to provide links to free GIS data and some programs that were becoming available. In time, we developed our Free GIS Tutorial. To date over 5,000 people have downloaded the tutorial and used it in conjunction with the free GIS program that we link to.
About a year ago we created a more advanced GIS tutorial - Learn2Map. We also created some downloadable Indian & Federal Lands Maps, Toxic Release Inventory maps and our Right-To-Know Atlas. None of these new products are free, but the cost is reasonable.
There is still so much more that we dream of -- things that could be done to bring geographic skills and knowledge to communities -- but the financial resources required to bring these ideas to fruition are beyond us at this point. We are discussing forming a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Our aim is to truly democratize the production and consumption of information and knowledge.
Tentatively, our first project will be the further development of the North Coast Geography Network. This project brings maps, data and tools to the people living on California's North Coast. It encourages people to add to and take part in developing our geographic, social and environmental knowledge of the region, both past and present. In its more mature form it would be an online cooperative spatial knowledge base of the North Coast.
If you are interested in joining with us, discussing the future potentials, or have any comments or questions at all, please send me a message. We really appreciate any help that we can get. Click here if you'd care to give us a donation and help in our efforts.
Please return soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out the rest of the MapCruzin and North Coast GIS web sites.
Thanks and Best Regards,
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MapCruzin.com is an independent firm
specializing in the publication of
educational and research resources.
We created the first U.S. based
interactive toxic chemical facility
maps on the internet in 1996 and we
have been online ever since. Learn more about us and view some of our projects and services.
If you have data, GIS project or custom shapefile needs send me an email.
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