Google for Nonprofits Newsletter - July 2012

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Leslie Hernandez

Aug 1, 2012, 8:37:41 PM8/1/12

Google for Nonprofits Newsletter July 2012
August 1, 2012
In this issue
By the way
What's new
Tools in action
Expert corner

By the way TOP
Since the Google for Nonprofits program initially launched in March 2011, we’ve been looking for ways to continually improve the website experience. We’ve updated the Google for Nonprofits website to make it easier for users to navigate the Google for Nonprofits application and enrollment process. Additionally, we wanted to make it easier for users to find educational resources, new case studies and other community resources as well as help resources. We’re excited to hear what you think of the updates to the site, and we’d love to hear any feedback directly on our Google+ page.
What's new TOP
image Make your Mark with Handwrite for Web Search
At Google, we strive to give you a variety of ways to interact with our products, be it by speaking your queries, getting results before you finish typing, or searching by image. Now there’s a new way: Handwrite for web search on mobile phones and tablets. Handwrite enables you to search by just writing letters with your finger most anywhere on your device’s screen—there’s no keyboard that covers half of the screen and no need for hunt-and-peck typing. For more information on handwrite and other features, check out the inside search site and their tips page.
image Celebrating Ramadan, Online
This July and August, Google brings the venerable traditions of Ramadan online. With more than a billion Muslims celebrating this holy month worldwide, Google offers a dedicated prayer YouTube channel, a separate Ramadan channel, and is hosting 30 virtual Google+ Hangouts. These activities are centered on the Google Arabia page, and are great examples of utilizing Google products to inform others. 
image Explore “This Exquisite Forest” with Chrome and the London’s Tate Modern
Google and London’s Tate Modern museum partnered to release, This Exquisite Forest, a web-based drawing tool that allows users to collaborate and create animations. Seven renowned artists created work from this feature, which is available online and on display at the Tate Modern. Various users have also submitted their own stories online. This project runs on Chrome’s advanced HTML5 and JavaScript featuresGoogle Cloud Storage, and Google App Engine.

Google Ideas: Joining the Fight Against Drug Cartels and other Illicit Networks             
Violent illicit networks represent a trillion-dollar problem that affects every society in the world and claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. To inspire a solution, Google Ideas hosted Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition (or the INFO Summit) in Los Angeles, CA. Partnering with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival, this summit aimed to discover ways that technology can be used to expose and disrupt these networks as a whole - and to put some of these ideas into practice. As evidenced by the event's video, Twitter page, and blog post, the INFO Summit leveraged the power of online user education to promote this cause. 

image Maker Camp on Google+: A Creative Online Forum for Youth
Google wants everyone to be creative this summer - whether it means traditional arts and crafts projects, science projects, or innovative technologies. That’s why they collaborated with Make Magazine to launch Maker Camp - a free, online, 6-week camp that encourages youth (ages 13-17) to be creative. Teens will collaborate with popular maker personalities to create projects and inspire innovation. Read the blog post, watch the YouTube video, and explore the website to learn more, and while you’re at it, get ideas on how to effectively engage teens for a cause.  
Tools in actionTOP
image Tools in action: Edible Schoolyard
In February 2012, the Edible Schoolyard Project launched, an online network for educators, parents, and advocates to share edible education lesson plans and best practices in the school lunchroom, garden, kitchen, and academic classroom. Once members join the network, they can add their programs to the network map, run by Google Maps. Users have the ability to connect and share their knowledge with other participants by searching the map for programs using a number of filter options, including location, program type and grade level. With the help of Google Maps, ultimately will support and enable the creation, growth, and enrichment of edible education programs around the world.    
Expert corner TOP
image This month, we caught up with Tanya Birch, a Program Manager for Google Earth Outreach, to hear how nonprofit organizations can take advantage of Earth Outreach Programs. 

Q. In our April Newsletter, Raleigh Seamster of Google Earth  Outreach gave us an overview of the team's mission and current projects. What’s new with Google Earth Outreach?
A. We’ve been spreading the word about using maps for cultural preservation recently at Rio+20, where the Surui tribe of the Amazon rainforest recently launched their Surui Cultural Map after our team held a training this past May near their indigenous territory in Brazil. Since the Surui had contact with western civilisation in 1969, they’ve lost their relatives to disease, their land to settlers and their forest to illegal logging. With the help of NGOs like ECAM, they have turned their story around and have rights to their indigenous territory, are entering the carbon credit marketplace to build an economy around keeping their trees worth more alive than dead, and their youth are interviewing the elders to learn about their rituals and history before it’s lost.
Take a look on their cultural map at

Q. What other tools are you seeing nonprofits using for mapping?
A. Our newest addition to our software grants program is a very cool tool called Google Maps Engine. It’s most applicable for users who have a lot of GIS data or imagery that they want to share within their organization or publish to the world. I encourage nonprofits who have lots of geospatial data to apply for a Google Maps Engine Grant. 

Q. Any good examples of nonprofits that are using Google Maps Engine?
A. There are two great examples of Maps Engine being used by nonprofits: WWF & Eyes on the Forest and Living Oceans Society. Living Oceans Society is a GIS shop for ocean planning and marine studies off the coast of Canada. They’re using Google Maps Engine to easily host and style their GIS data and make it available on their website. (View the maps)

WWF & Eyes on the Forest created an interactive experience that allows visitors to see how forests in Sumatra are shrinking due to human encroachment in the past decade or two. You can compare how the ranges of rhinocerous, tiger, elephant and orangutan are matching the extent of the forest -- or what’s left of it. Alongside that data, you can explore ecofloristic activity and carbon stocks in Sumatra. (View the map)

Q. Do you have any suggestions for nonprofits who want to use maps to reach a wider audience?
A. Google Earth Outreach helped stock the updated Google Earth Gallerywith content from nonprofits who are creating either Google Earth KML files or Google Maps Engine maps.  If you want to suggest your map be included so more people see your work, post it on our Google Earth Outreach/Education group.

Q. Your team held Google I/O's 'Maps for Good' talk, and had an
 Earth Outreach booth set up at the event. Can you tell us more about the team's experience with developers at I/O? Anything you learned?
A. We met a number of great developers who are working hard to make an impact. Watch our Maps for Good talk at Google I/O and hear from Rebecca Moore, Engineering Manager for Google Earth Engine and Google Earth Outreach, learn about Google Earth Engine from Dave Thau and hear from a couple of our favorite developers, Kevin Bluer from AXS Map and Jake Wall from Save the Elephants.
Connect TOP
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