Monday, March 17, 2014

A little luck could go a long way

In 1997 I had to strokes of good luck. HSBC Worldwide selected my organization to share in its year-end holiday gift, which amounted to nearly $60,000. At the same time, an anonymous donor gave $50,000 to rebuild the GIS mapping capacity of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. As a result, this blog and all of the map stories created since 2008 were made available and the interactive Chicago tutor/mentor program locator was created.

Unfortunately that good luck was followed by seven years of bad luck, starting with the financial melt down that resulted in loosing HSBC support for our technology strategies, and ultimately, looking the funding to keep paying for a map maker and continued upgrades to the program locator technology, and then the 2011 decision of the Cabrini Connections Board to discontinue its support of the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy.

Despite all of this I've continued to publish map stories, build the network of support for tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities, maintain a web library that records more than 9,000 visitors a month, and host a spring and fall Tutor/Mentor Leadership & Networking Conference in Chicago.

It's about time for some good fortune to come this way and maybe today will be the beginning.

Yet, while I seek financial and talent support for my own efforts, I know nearly 70% of the other tutoring and/or mentoring programs in Illinois are also seeking the same support. Thus, I keep pointing to the program locator, and this list of Chicago youth organizations, hoping they all have the luck of the Irish and receive the financial and talent support they need.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Create your own story maps - a tutorial

I started using maps to tell stories in 1993. Back then the technology to create a map story was beyond reach of most people and the distribution channel needed to get your map story in front of a desired audience was also closed to most people.

Much has changed since then. Here's an article on the GIS and Science blog showing how anyone can create their own map stories.

Here's a tutorial showing how to use the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator to create maps focused on helping volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas.

As you create your maps and share them on blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. share them with us via Twitter or by posting a comment on this blog.