National Geographic’s Global Action Atlas

It’s easy to get inspired by all the things happening here at National Geographic headquarters. I typically get blown away at least once a day by someone’s research project, photography, or marvelous storytelling. But I have to admit that when I heard about a new project over a year ago from our Maps Division I got particularly excited. It’s the just-launched Global Action Atlas, and it embodies our mission of “inspiring people to care about the planet” in so many invaluable ways. Most importantly, it’s a simple way to turn inspiration into action.

The Global Action Atlas, now it its beta stages, is an online, map-driven database that enables people to connect to and help support organizations working on hundreds of projects around the world. Through a partnership with Global Giving, National Geographic has added over 60 organizations and 250 projects so far, and organized them into six categories: Conservation, Humanitarian, Cultures, Exploration, Climate Change, and Energy. Drill down within those categories to find specific projects focused on your interest, from empowering women to saving endangered languages to promoting responsible forest management. You can also search for projects by using the Action Map, which uses different symbols to identify the various project categories. On each project’s page, in addition to photos, videos, and blogs, you’ll see a bright yellow “Take Action” box, and beneath that you’ll find various ways to act, from making a donation, to taking a DNA swab, to taking a volunteer vacation through a mission travel-based program.


We realize that this last option is of particular interest to our

readers, who are always telling us they’re looking for volunteer

vacation opportunities. You can find a full list of project

opportunities on the site, ranging from exploring Icelandic glaciers with EarthWatch Institute to saving marine turtles in Turkey with Volunteers for International Partnerships.

And

we

also know that many of our readers work for organizations who

are running these programs. As I sat down with my colleague Frank

Biasi, who helped create the site, to get an online tour, he explained

that

organizations can nominate themselves to become members, and if

selected, can upload and manage their project with a simple content

management system.

What’s particularly of use is that organizations can quickly respond to

urgent needs around the world; recent projects that have been created

to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf Coast and respond to most recent earthquakes in China.

They are just beginning to build the Mission Travel

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section, so if you’re interested in adding your nonprofit project to that section of the Atlas (or any other section, for that matter) visit the

website to nominate your organization and learn more about participation in the Global Action Atlas. And read an interview

our pal Ford Cochran, with National Geographic Missions, did with Allen

Carroll, National Geographic’s chief cartographer, who’s spearheading the

project.

So check out the the Global Action Atlas at actionatlas.org and become a fan of the site on Facebook.

Congratulations to Allen Carroll, Frank Biasi, and the entire National Geographic Maps Division for the launch!

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