American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals uses Esri GIS software to save homeless animals [San Bernardino County Sun, Calif.]
(San Bernardino County Sun (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 07--REDLANDS -- Esri's geographic information system software is helping the ASPCA save homeless animals across the country.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received a $230,000 grant from PetSmart Charities Inc. in October.
According to a news release from the ASPCA, the money will allow it to hire a full-time GIS expert dedicated to the collection and analysis of community data in a more strategic effort to save animals' lives.
The Esri technology is expected to more effectively direct spay and neuter programs toward animal populations that are most at risk of entering shelters and track their progress over time, the ASPCA said.
"Through our work with our partner communities, we have witnessed firsthand how focusing on key data can help improve shelters' strategic planning, helping them work even smarter than before," said Emily Weiss, the vice president of shelter research and development for the ASPCA, in a news release.
Greg Miller, a certified GIS analyst for shelter research and development for the ASPCA and former Esri employee, said, "The team is working with Esri's ArcGIS software and taking advantage of the wealth of data that is available through 'Esri's Community Analyst.' 'Community Analyst' adds significantly to the abilities of the ASPCA team to better understand the communities in which they are working and to more successfully plan targeted interventions that are identified during the GIS
Miller said he initiated the partnership between the ASPCA and Esri in December.
"This is a very rewarding project to be working on," Miller said. "Nothing compares to having a positive impact on animals. I have a working relationship with Esri, so that helps, and we have already seen some progress."
Brenda Wolfe, a product manager for Esri, said, "Greg Miller from the ASPCA had signed up for a trial of our 'Community Analyst product,' which I am the product manager for, meaning I work with our development team to determine how to meet user-market needs and requirements."
Wolfe said by email, "At Esri, product managers are encouraged to reach out to users of our software to get real world feedback so that we can continually improve the software.
"When I saw Greg was from the ASPCA, I got excited because I am such an animal lover. I reached out to him to see if he had any questions or feedback. From there we have been having a dialog about how he uses the software, and I have been giving him tips and tricks and pointing out some possibly useful data in the system."
The ASPCA gathers and analyzes shelter data from its partnership communities to help guide strategic planning and effective program evaluation.
The addition of the GIS specialists will enable the ASPCA to increase the number of communities it works with, as well as expand on the types of data that are plotted and analyzed within these given communities, organization officials said.
Using GIS technology to gather information -- such as the locations with the highest rate of intake resulting in euthanasia, locations with the highest rate of intake resulting in live release, areas with the highest saturation of spayed and neutered animals entering the shelter, and where those who are adopting animals -- communities will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of shelter programs, said the ASPCA.
Miller said there is a tremendous interest and huge demand for this software and that it can become more accessible to more people in the future.
One of the tools used to help in spotting where intake is occurring is Choropleth Maps.
"This is one tool in a pretty large series of maps that is used to help identify areas in a community where hot spots of intake are occurring," he said.
For more information, visit www.aspca.org or contact Esri at www.esri.com or 909-793-2853.
Reach Suze via email, call her at 909-793-3221, ext. 319; or find her on Twitter at @RedlandsNow.
(c)2012 the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.)
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