From: David Geilhufe Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 8:05 AM To: ctcmembers Subject: Re: [ctcnet] Could Google Earth revolutionize CTC work?
Another factor for CTC's in leveraging GIS for their work is the release of CiviCRM. CiviCRM is open source, nonprofit-centric constituent relationship management (CRM) software. Think of it as an open source version of Kintera/Convio.
CiviCRM has a nice little google maps integration that could allow a CTC to easily collect and store their own data and "automagically" have that data displayed in Google Maps. Imagine walking your neighborhood and creating a list of blighted properties. A map can be generated and displayed online. On your website, volunteers help to identify the owners of those blighted properties and store that information in the database. Other volunteers can call those property owners and work with them to improve the property.
All of this happens when specific people work toward "prooving the concept" with the various software tools avaliable to them. The next step is taking the proof of concept and actually making it standardized and easy to use. And finally you get the software adopted widely, creating enough of a user base to ensure the software doesn't disappear into a void of no support, no consultants, and no sustainability.
CiviCRM has been integrated with the current CivicSpace release (www.civicspacelabs.org), offering a simple automated installer. You can try a demo of civicrm and look in depth at the code, documentation, and community at www.openngo.org.