Objectives This volunteer assignment aimed to provide Geographic Information System (GIS) training to secondary school…
Laying TRACKS, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has a simple mission: synthesize data in the reproductive care space to make information, resources, and analytics more accessible to the public. Our work involves integrating data from a multitude of authoritative sources, such as the Guttmacher Institute, US Census Bureau, National Institute of Health, state legislative websites, news media sources, and more, all used to manually curate our platform’s database. The calling to effectively message this vast amount of data became a dream-turned-to-reality by using the ArcGIS technology.
ArcGIS has significantly enhanced what our non-profit is able to accomplish by providing us with an efficient platform for data visualization and resource centralization. The ArcGIS license provided to us through the GISCorps GIS Service Pledge has given us the ability to swiftly amalgamate data from diverse sources, streamlined our operations, and empowered our users with powerful resources in a landscape that is quickly evolving. To facilitate this process, we created an ArcGIS library of maps for users to explore and interact with the content.
This collection includes useful resources such as links to state and local financial/logistical resources, links to the latest state legislation, a simplified explanation of the laws for everyday people, and information on where to find legal representation at the state level. We have also developed a set of interactive maps, including maps that: provide information on the legal status of abortions, display the locations of reproductive healthcare clinics (with post-Dobbs closings denoted & filterable), detail the exceptions that states have in relation to their abortion policies, and show locations where doctors have indicated that they are willing to perform Tubal Ligations under standardized age and health considerations.
In addition to facilitating the Laying TRACKS mission to share important information and resources with others, the maps have also been effective in supporting the organization’s marketing campaigns. Social media postings that highlighted ArcGIS’s attractive and user-friendly maps demonstrated a 150% increase in views and post interactions in comparison to prior marketing efforts.
Additionally, the ability to use the Instant Maps feature in ArcGIS Online has evolved our Partnership strategy, by enabling us to offer promptly-generated custom map images as unique visual representation of their proprietary data to help us engage organizations and spread awareness of our mission. This capability is invaluable in giving us the opportunity to foster relationships with these organizations, positioning us to offer a resource they may not have the capacity to generate independently or that is helping us demonstrate how we can combine efforts on spreading shared messages in the context of our map library and volunteer skillset.
We are also anticipating our forthcoming release that will incorporate ArcGIS StoryMaps. This technology promises to augment our engagement with collaborators and audience by providing an interactive and immersive data visualization experience.
The integration of ArcGIS into our platform at Laying TRACKS has been a pivotal factor in our progression. It has facilitated improvements in what we are able to provide to the public, enhanced our collaborations, and enabled us to engage more effectively with our audience. We are enthusiastic about the future prospects with ArcGIS and are committed to continuing to leverage its capabilities to further our mission.