For example, the NKCA aims at educating people about the topics of affordable housing and fair lending while improving their geographic literacy.
The NKCA features two unique applications that illustrate how cutting-edge technology particularly benefits users with limited technical capacity in novel ways (Steins 2003).
To mitigate these challenges, the NKCA provides a four-step process that is comparable to uploading photos to send via e-mail.
First, while the Factfinder Web site only allows neighborhood selections based on menu-driven forms, the NKCA uses an interactive point-and-click method by which users see the census tracts or block groups they are interested in studying (Figure 2).
By opening a piece of the "black box" of ArcIMS and rewriting the code to make the uploading feature free to nonprofit users, the NKCA democratizes the ability to create point-based maps.
In the NKCA case, a flexible technological back end enabled the creation of effective community partnerships and a dynamic user interface.
Building on nearly a decade of user experiences from the preceding neighborhood-based GIS projects, the NKCA developers diligently compiled and incorporated feedback from a wide variety of people during regularly scheduled workshops, university and high school class sessions, meetings, academic conferences, and public demonstrations.
The NKCA case, along with other projects developed by the API/CNK, demonstrates the importance of user interface, application architecture, and partnerships in developing sustainable community-based WGIS projects.
If the NKCA and other WGIS projects can continue to meet the growing demand for easy-to-use maps and data, they will provide the type of contribution envisioned by optimistic proponents of PPGIS.
The NKCA project demonstrates that WGIS can deliver functionality that is "as easy to use as ordering a book or sending an e-mail" (Haklay and Tobon 2003).
I would like to extend my appreciation to my former colleagues at UCLA, our community partners, and the users of the NKCA and NKLA Web sites.
I personally served first as a junior team member on the NKLA project and then as the project manager for the NKCA project.