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Google Street View Cars Measure Methane Gas Leaks

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, August 1 2014

Screenshot of the three EDF maps: Boston, Indianapolis, and Staten Island

Cities degrade. Potholes may jar us and delays due to construction may irritate us, but it is impossible to perceive the full extent of a city's decay. Environmental Defense Fund, however, has partnered with Google Earth Outreach to make visible one environmental hazard of aging infrastructure: natural gas leaks. Earlier this month they published maps of leaks in Boston, Indianapolis and Staten Island. The project was the first for which Google Earth Outreach deployed Street View cars for environmental research purposes.

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With More Than 7 Million Searchable Records, Citizen Audit Makes Nonprofit Transparency Easy

BY Sam Roudman | Thursday, January 9 2014

“An enormous segment of the economy is exempt from taxes, which means they kind of have a burden to have increased transparency,” says Luke Rosiak, an investigative reporter at the Washington Examiner. Despite the clear public interest in making the tax forms of nonprofits readily available, and the fact that the IRS has nonprofits submit their 990 tax forms electronically, which should make them easy to post directly online, Rosiak says the IRS does not release them “in any meaningful way.” Instead, journalists, researchers, and those who work in nonprofits have to bumble through The Foundation Center’s 990 finder for scanned PDFs, or pony up serious money for easier access to the still-hard-to-sift through PDFs with Guidestar. To accomplish what Rosiak thinks the IRS should probably doing already, he started a project called Citizen Audit. The site takes over a decade of nonprofit tax forms and puts them online, and is in the process of running them through computationally intensive optical recognition software, to makes them fully searchable. Read More

Nancy Lublin on the Problem With Nonprofit Tech

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 7 2013

Nancy Lublin at Personal Democracy Forum 2013. Photo: Esty Stein / Personal Democracy Forum

Nancy Lublin devoted her PDF talk to opening a conversation about what she sees as serious problems with the way foundations approach funding technology projects that address public policy or social services.

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Remembering Rob Stuart: We Are All in His Network

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 1 2011

Rob Stuart at the second annual NTEN conference, Chicago, 2005. Photo: NTEN/Flickr Last Wednesday, Rob Stuart, the founding president of Evolve Strategies and the Evolve Foundation, a long-time leader and activist in the ... Read More

The Message in the Cryptex

BY Gavin Clabaugh | Tuesday, October 6 2009

[We're pleased to repost, with permission, this short essay by Gavin Clabaugh, a veteran of the nonprofit tech world who serves on the board of NTEN; Aspiration, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to identifying, ... Read More