Making Change: Using Geographic Information Systems for Community Development

Report by The Local Initiatives Support Corporation
December 1, 2002

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

"Increasingly, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and our partners have been tapping into the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to convey information in a concise and compelling manner through maps and to analyze data geographically. Although academics and professionals in the fields of environmental science, geography and cartography have been using GIS for decades, it is relatively new to the community development field. Our experience to date has convinced us that GIS is a powerful tool for community development planning, advocacy, organizing, fundraising, and evaluation. However, we have also learned that the barriers to effectively using GIS—including access to technology, data, skilled users, and resources—are significant, and frequently underestimated by new users."