December 1, 2002
Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Although academics and professionals in the fields of environmental science, geography, and cartography have been using geographic information systems (GIS) for decades, it is relatively new to the community development field. Experience to date has convinced the Local Initiatives Support Corporation that GIS is a powerful tool for community development planning, advocacy, organizing, fundraising, and evaluation. However, the barriers to effectively using GIS -- including access to technology, data, skilled users, and resources -- are significant, and frequently underestimated by new users. This report looks at the application and benefits of GIS, as well as the barriers to its effective use.