The Global Action Atlas is a new initiative at National Geographic. What is it, exactly? The Atlas is an interactive, map-based tool highlighting local projects around the world. Visitors can connect with the organizations and individuals behind the projects to volunteer, advocate, donate and support worthy causes in a range of ways.
The Atlas is easy to navigate; projects are organized into broad categories such as humanitarian, climate change, exploration, cultures, education, energy and conservation. Each one of these is further separated into smaller categories to make finding projects about specific topics very intuitive.
The Atlas lends itself to myriad learning opportunities. For example, a classroom could conduct needs assessments for various countries by analyzing the numbers and types of organizations highlighted on the map. In Honduras, for instance, there are mostly water organizations profiled on the Atlas. Why do you think that is? What might be some potential issues with the data?
A classroom could also adopt a project. This would enable students to participate in global citizenship activities by fundraising or volunteering, and then staying connected through the atlas and social media tools such as Facebook. This would be a good activity for students of all ages, especially college students who often have abundant time, resources, skills and enthusiasm to contribute to projects.
The Atlas is also an excellent resource for conducting research, particularly on niche topics. Under the “culture” category, for example, there is a subcategory about endangered languages. A student wanting to learn more about this could use the atlas to connect with organizations and experts that could help answer their questions and provide data, research opportunities, and other resources.
Want to get started already?! Browse the various categories of projects; I guarantee you’ll be amazed by what you find in just ten minutes of playing around. When you see something you like, use the “My Projects” tool to flag your favorite initiatives. Later, you can go back and manage your projects and track their progress individually, or with your school, work, or charity group.
I hope the Global Action Atlas inspires you to action around some of the most vital issues facing nature and society today–did I mention it’s free to use?
By: Sarah Evans