Google Earth for non-profits

Thursday, April 10, 2008 | 11:18 AM

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Google Earth Outreach

It's an old problem — you're a non-profit trying to reach the largest audience possible to educate them about your cause. You're moving beyond sending out snail mail membership requests, and embracing Web 2.0. Google Grants helps you with your advertising needs. But where can you get help engaging the public? The answer: Google Earth Outreach. Many non-profits have been using Google Earth and Google Maps to take people on guided virtual tours to add a spatial context to their cause. With Google Earth and Google Maps, you can fly people right in to your project site or send them on a virtual trip across the globe to bear witness to the issues that you're so passionate about.

As an example, the Sierra Club, one of California's premier environmental organizations, developed a map showing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil drilling project. Using Google Earth, they highlighted the proposed drilling areas and showed some of the consequences of opening the land to oil drilling. Read their full case study here. Then there's Appalachian Voices, an organization against mountaintop removal for coal mining, which got over 12,000 signatures on a petition after their layer launched in Google Earth (full story). More stories like these are featured in our case studies.

That's all well and good, you say, but your non-profit doesn't employ any code junkies. Don't let that stop you — we've got a suite of tutorials targeting non-techies that will walk you through how you can add your own content to Google Earth and Google Maps. And if you're not sure where to begin or what kind of maps you can create, see what other groups have done to tell their stories. If you've tried the free version of Google Earth but you need the advanced features of Google Earth Pro, qualified charitable organizations based in the US, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands can apply for a Google Earth Pro grant.

We love to see groups make the most of Google's technology to get the word out. Learn how easy it is to captivate your audience by telling your story in a spatial context with Google Earth Outreach.