Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an exciting tool for mapping locations of animals. It lets you look at many different sets of data in a way that provides a clearer picture of your community's animals and their needs—and that helps you use resources more efficiently.
How It Began
The ASPCA's research began with a handful of communities across the country utilizing GIS to target animals most at risk and reduce shelter intake.
- In Portland, OR, an alliance of local organizations discovered an area of high intake through GIS mapping. Through a comprehensive outreach program, including free services to clients in the targeted area, intake was reduced.
- In Cleveland, OH, the ASPCA team worked with two local organizations to identify an area of high intake, then launched an intervention to saturate the area with free services and keep animals in their homes.
- The Florida counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach identified high intake areas in their communities through the use of GIS, and began targeting their efforts more effectively.
- Sacramento, CA, also identified an area of high intake and completed a one-year intervention project focused on reducing shelter intake of cats and dogs.
The ASPCA team identified a clear pathway shelters can use to see the big picture. By examining data for animals who are handled through shelters and rescues in your community, organizations can accurately show hot spots in your area.
For the GIS program to work effectively, shelters must:
- Enter data in a consistent and accurate (or clean) manner
- Map at least 85% of the community's intake
- Test intake data to see if 80% or more is clean
- Continue refining until your data is at least 80% clean for the data subset you want to examine
Step-By-Step Videos: Cleaning Your Data for GIS
The X Maps Spot team has produced 6 videos that will guide you through cleaning your GIS animal data step by step.
Get Started Tracking At-Risk Animals Using GIS Data
Here are the tools you’ll need and links to more information so you can launch a Geographic Information Systems program at your agency.
How to Clean Your Data
A tool was created to help determine what percentage of your data is clean enough to use for GIS purposes.