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Geoporter Leverages Big Data and Technology to Empower Developing Communities

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Monday, December 9th 2013
| Dallas, TX
Read More About: costarica, education, esri, top


Geoporter Leverages Big Data and Technology to Empower Developing Communities

Using geospatial mapping techniques, the non-profit is educating communities on how to collect and analyze data in order to address emerging problems. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/geospatial-technologies-transforming-lives-geoporter

Dallas, TX, December 09, 2013 - Geoporter, a non-profit focused on leveraging advanced mapping technology to empower communities to address burgeoning problems from within, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help support continued work and expansion. Funds will be used to provide resources to their current projects in Costa Rica, while allowing the team to establish new operations in other areas globally.

The organization utilizes GPS-driven technology to map behaviors in a community, allowing them to better define problems, develop and implement solutions, and evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts for continual improvement. The technology can be used to address a wide variety of problems, from tackling trash build up in the area to monitoring whale patterns in order to facilitate more sustainable tourism practices. In Costa Rica, the Geoporter team even worked to map mosquito larva and water treatment to help reduce the risk of exposure to dengue fever.

“It’s exciting and rewarding work,” says co-founder Anita Palmer. “We’re going into areas where we can make a real difference in the everyday lives of people through the power of data analysis. What’s more, we’re helping to reverse trends that would otherwise have regional and, in some cases, global implications.”

Geospatial mapping is not new, but it has traditionally been executed by teams of experts in the aftermath of a crisis. Geoporter’s approach is a proactive one, where they move into communities as challenges are developing so they can effect change before there’s a real problem. Still, building and sustaining a team of experts would have been cost-prohibitive, so Geoporter decided they would try something radical: teaching people within these communities to use the technology themselves.

“We started by training adults and youth,” explains Geoporter Director Amy Work. “Now, children in the area are taught how to use the technology in and outside of school. We have eight year olds navigating commercial-grade geospatial mapping technology like ESRI ArcGIS Online better than some of the professionals I’ve known. The lessons they’re learning today will not only enable them to take ownership of their communities, but provide them with skills they can leverage through adulthood.”

Geoporter is hoping to use the IndieGoGo campaign to raise the funds necessary to continue their work in Costa Rica, and are looking to expand into other areas over the course of the next year. Donations will go towards funding technology, educator travel and living expenses, and community staffing. To support the Geoporter mission or learn more about their work, you can visit their Indiegogo campaign by clicking here. Also: video.

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Geoporter is a 501.c3 Non-Profit that focuses on educational programs that enable professional geospatial educators to travel to communities around the world for extended periods to empower community members to use and apply geospatial technologies to solve local issues and investigate community resources.

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