June 27, 2012 -- Geographic Information Services, Inc. (GISi) employees from all across the country gather each spring in Birmingham, Ala., where the company is headquartered, for the annual company meeting. As a part of that gathering, employees are given the opportunity to use their geographical and technological talents to assist a worthy organization. This opportunity is called the Maps & Apps Challenge—participants volunteer to create either an informational map or an interactive mapping application for a non-profit organization. This year, that organization was Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
WWP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Tens of thousands of Wounded Warriors and caregivers receive support each year through Wounded Warrior Project programs that are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement.
“As I researched this organization and after talking with a number of their staff, it became clear to me that their core values, the cities from which they operate, how they operate, and their mission, all seemed to be a perfect fit for us,” said Dan Levine, Chief Technology Officer at GISi and the person responsible for coordinating the effort.
In the months leading up to April’s company meeting, 23 people from GISi spent their free time thinking of ways to use their mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) skills to assist WWP. Examples include maps showing the location of Wounded Warriors across the country, the location of WWP offices in correlation to those the organization serves, and applications such as an iPhone event tracking application, a congressional district viewer, and mobile social media applications.
GISi invited Dan McCarthy, Director of Special Projects at WWP, to the meeting to judge the maps and applications, as well as to educate the company on WWP and its mission.
”I have the great privilege of working with the men and women who return wounded from war. They will carry these wounds, both visible and invisible forever,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy, along with other guest judges, selected a map that shows the distribution of Wounded Warriors across the country, produced by Eric Rippons, a GIS Technician in GISi’s Virginia office, and a location-based social media application created by Chris Bupp, a Senior GIS Developer located in Atlanta, GA, as the winners of this year’s Maps & Apps Challenge. Applications were built using a range of Esri technologies including the mobile SDKs for Android and iOS, Web technologies including Silverlight , Flex, Esri Maps for SharePoint, and ArcGIS Explorer. GISi created an ArcGIS online Portal for Organizations site for WWP to host and serve the data and applications.
“The WWP logo is a solder carrying another soldier. Those of us that get to enjoy the blessings of freedom need to carry those that come back wounded,” says McCarthy. “When you see men and women who have gone and served our country with valor, say thanks and figure out how you can help them. All of us can help somehow.”
For more information on WWP and ways you can help, visit them at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
GISi is a location intelligence consulting firm headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., with offices and employees throughout the country. For more than 20 years, GISi has been helping organizations, from local governments to retail companies to the Department of Defense, use spatial technology to solve problems and improve decision-making.
Contact: Katie Irwin
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