Make a Disaster Relief Community Resource Map

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and fires, make a devastating impact on a community. Often, despite being surrounded by ruins, a silver lining comes forth in a community that supports each other. Locals and relief workers set up shelters, provide food, donate clothing, and more. Word of mouth becomes incredibly important for getting the word out about what is available where. A map can be an invaluable tool to amplify the community’s efforts.

You can quickly make a map of community resources, even if there isn’t currently a disaster. In this post, we walk you through an easy way to get these unstructured locations into something usable from any web browser, embedded on your website, or on mobile.

Gather and Store Locations

The list of resources is an important part of your community effort. This is the information you want to pass along to those in need. Make sure you store it in a way that makes it easy to keep updated, such as a spreadsheet. Excel or Google Sheets are both easy ways to allow others to contribute to data collection and curation. Plus, it helps you provide a little structure to the location data you’re collecting.

A basic community resource spreadsheet will include:

  • A name of the place, something that helps others identify it
  • The address, intersection, or other geographic description
  • A short overview of what resources are available at this location — this is optional, but helpful for those browsing available resources

Your spreadsheet can include those three fields as column headers. Then each subsequent row is a single resource. For example, consider this list:

Name Address Description
Redwood Empire Food Bank 3990 Brickway Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Accepts donations and provides free emergency food boxes
The Salvation Army 93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 Clothing and other necessities
Kaiser Permanente 401 Bicentennial Way Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Emergency and inpatient services
Sutter Health 30 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Access medical services via Mark West Springs Rd off of Hwy 101

Let’s say you have a list like this in a spreadsheet. You can highlight everything, including the headers, then copy and paste it into this map making tool to create a map like this:

View Disaster Relief Community Resource Map in a full screen map

As you find additional resources, or need to update existing ones, update your spreadsheet as your “source of truth.” Then simply copy-paste into the BatchGeo map to create your community resource map.

Help People Filter By Category

You may have noticed that the example resources are a mix of food, clothing, and medical services. Once you get more than a handful of locations, it can feel like a hodgepodge of places. You can categorize the resources available to make it easier to make it easier for users to see just what they’re interested in.

Go back to your spreadsheet and add another column for “category.” Here’s how you might expand the previous sample resources:

Name Address Description Category
Redwood Empire Food Bank 3990 Brickway Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Accepts donations and provides free emergency food boxes Donations
The Salvation Army 93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 Clothing and other necessities Donations
Kaiser Permanente 401 Bicentennial Way Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Emergency and inpatient services Medical
Sutter Health 30 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Access medical services via Mark West Springs Rd off of Hwy 101 Medical

When you use the data in this updated spreadsheet to create a map, you’ll get something different:

View Disaster Relief Map with Categories in a full screen map

First, note the different colors of the icons. The donation sites are now visually separate from the medical facilities. Further, at the bottom of the map, you can choose only to see one or the other. Now you’re helping someone find the exact resource they need.

Of course, with four locations and two categories, it’s only minimally helpful. This magnifies when there are dozens or hundreds of resources. You can also include multiple types of categories. Using the BatchGeo grouping feature, any data in your spreadsheet becomes a potential filter field.

Promote Your Community Resource

Your map of community resources is now a resource itself! Just as word of mouth is the best way to spread the ways a community is ready to help each other, use those same channels to let everyone know about your map.

Share on Social Media

Use Twitter, Facebook, and neighborhood message boards to get the word out! You can link directly to BatchGeo maps and know they’ll work on any device. Our maps are mobile-optimized while still looking great on larger screens, using the same link.

Embed in Other Websites

If you already maintain a community resource on the web, add maps within your existing site. No need to link off to a different site for the map, bring the map into your site.

When you create your map, you’ll receive an email with a special code to embed your map. If you have access to add HTML to your site, you’ll be able to use this to include the map seamlessly within your other content.

Most Popular Official Languages in the World

The ability to communicate with each other is what separates human beings from animals. There are between 5,000 and 7,000 languages spoken throughout the world. The fact that there are so many different languages and yet we are still able to communicate is an amazing thing, and here at BatchGeo, we thought it would be pretty amazing to compile all of the most popular official languages throughout the world into one map.

View Official Languages by Country in a full screen map

As you can see on the map above, the most popular languages are available for filtering using the BatchGeo grouping feature.

There are five languages that are official in 10 or more countries: English (64), French (32), Arabic (27), Spanish (23), and Portuguese (10).

In addition to being the most popular, English is the only language officially designated on all six populated continents. Most of the 64 countries in which English is an official language are former territories of the British Empire.

Due to France’s position throughout history, as well as a history of colonialism, French is spoken throughout the world. Its designation as an official language, however, is situated mostly in Europe and Africa. The exceptions: Canada, Haiti, and Vanuatu.

Arabic, while nearly as common as French, is even more focused in its region of popularity. The Middle East and Northern Africa are home to all 27 Arabic-speaking countries. Similarly, many of those countries have some of the highest percentages of Muslim practitioners.

Spanish doesn’t have the European adoption of French, with Spain as the only country on that continent to consider it an official language. Still, Spanish manages to land in the fourth spot due to its incredible popularity in Latin America. Its only other locations are two countries in Africa (Western Sahara, Equatorial Guinea) and as the only language spoken officially on the South Pacific territory of Easter Island.

Finally, Portuguese may be fifth in terms of popularity, but its 10 countries are spread far and wide. The best known are likely Portugal and Brazil. Four others are on mainland Africa and two are African island nations. The other two? Macau (along with Mandarin and Cantonese) and East Timor, near Indonesia.

Our Monolingual World

Half the countries speak only one language, at least as an official language. On the monolingual list, English leads the way again, but not by nearly as much. There are 24 countries with only English as an official language, only 38% of all languages that have adopted English. By comparison, Spanish is the only official language of 19 of the 23 countries (83%) that “hablan español.”

Danish and Armenian have an interesting distinction not shared with any other languages. Danish is the official language in Greenland, Faroe Islands, and Denmark. Armenian is official in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. And in all five of these countries, there is only a single language. In other words, 100% of countries that speak Danish or Armenian are monolingual.

There are another 26 monolingual countries that speak a language that is only official in that country. Most of them will sound familiar because they’re named after the one country that speaks it. For example Hungarian, Bulgarian, Latvian, and Lithuanian are probably not surprises. Some interesting ones from this group include Manx Gaelic (only official language of the Isle of Mann) and Gàidhlig (Scotland)

Countries with the Most Official Languages

Despite the large numbers of monolingual countries, a few go the other way. Seven countries have 10 or more official languages. All of these countries are in Africa, which has a history of both tribal dialects and multiple colonial occupants. Together these factors lead to many official languages.

The Republic of Benin, perhaps best known as the birthplace of Voodoo, has a population of only around 11 million. Yet, there are 21 official languages: Aja-Gbe, Anii, Bariba, Biali, Boko, Dendi, Fon-Gbe, Foodo, French, Fula, Gen-Gbe, Lukpa, Mbelime, Nateni, Tammari, Waama, Waci-Gbe, Xwela-Gbe, Yobe, Yom, and Yoruba. While three of Benin’s official languages can be found in other countries (French, Fula, and Yoruba) the rest of Benin’s 17 official languages are found exclusively in the country.

The second country with 10 or more official languages is Senegal. This far west country in Africa has 15 official languages for a population of around 15.5 million people. While French, Fula, Soninke, and Wolof are all languages found elsewhere, 11 of the 15 official languages are unique to Senegal.

Zimbabwe is the third country with 10 or more official languages. There are 14 official languages are spoken in Zimbabwe, which has a population of about 16 million people. Seven of those 14 official languages are exclusive to Zimbabwe, with English, Ndebele, Tswana, Chichewa, Venda, and Xhosa being spoken in other countries but the rest can only be found in Zimbabwe. The southernmost country of Africa, South Africa, right below Zimbabwe, has 12 official languages. Of those 12, four are unique to the country.

Mali, like South Africa, also has 12 official languages, one of which is Arabic which is only spoken in the Northern half of countries within Africa aside from the islands of Comoros in the Southern part. Niger, bordering Mali to the east, has 11 official languages, five of which are exclusively found in Niger. Finally, Ghana has exactly 10 official languages. Aside from English, all of the languages in Ghana are unique to this country.

Whether you live in a country that has one official language or 21 official languages, the map above provides some insights into the countries around the world and the languages spoken there. No matter if you are most familiar with a language that is official in 10 or more countries, or you are more familiar with a language utterly unique to your own country, we’ll always have some form of language to communicate with.

Where U.S. Beer is Brewed

Across the United States, we’ve started to describe liquid in colors like straw, deep gold, copper, and red-brown. We even distinguish between light black and dark black—isn’t black just black? Not when you’re describing beer from the thousands of breweries that have sprung up in the last ten years. Microbrews are too big—now there are nano brews, which has quadrupled the breweries nationwide since 2007.

View Breweries by State in a full screen map

On the map above, you see each state, with a marker colored to match its current number of breweries. Click the “2017” in the lower left of the map to change years, or see the 10 and 20-year growth rates. Dig into the details in the map, or see below for the stories we found in the data.

Top 10 US States by Brewery Count

  1. California (981)
  2. Washington State (448)
  3. New York (420)
  4. Colorado (408)
  5. Michigan (402)
  6. Pennsylvania (352)
  7. Oregon (323)
  8. Florida (287)
  9. North Carolina (287)*
  10. Texas (279)
    * Technically, North Carolina is tied for eighth with Florida.

The most populous state in the country, California also leads the way in breweries. Its 981 is more than numbers two and three combined. That includes New York, the third-most populous state. California’s reign goes back as far as our data does. In 1984, California’s nine breweries accounted for over 20% of all US breweries tracked.

Many states have moved up and down in the rankings in the last 20 years. Colorado was second to California in 1997 and 2007 but slipped down to fourth in 2017. Oregon has also bumped down two notches in the last 10 years. It’s not that they haven’t grown—both states have more than tripled breweries during this time—but that they haven’t grown as fast as others.

New York, for example, climbed into the top three from the eighth spot in 2007. North Carolina jumped into the top 10 with an over 600% growth rate. To make room, others had to leave the top 10. Most notably is the state whose baseball team is called the Brewers. Wisconsin dropped 10 places in 10 years, from the fourth-most breweries in 2007 to #14 in 2017.

Of course, Wisconsinites might argue the state produces a lot of beer, even if its number of breweries haven’t kept up. That’s an important distinction to make. This map, and the data within it, covers individual breweries, not barrels of production. Since 11 brewers make over 90% of US beer, that map might not be quite as interesting.

Overall Growth in Breweries

California brewery growthThe growth in the number of breweries tells the story of proliferating microbrews. This is a nationwide trend that we see present in just about every state. You’ll see a chart for every state by clicking the marker above it on the map. For example, the one embedded here is California’s. The shape of many of these charts is similar, showing the pattern nationwide. While there was modest growth between 1997 and 2007, the greatest growth has come during the last ten years. In fact, the story becomes even clearer when we look at the national numbers by year instead of by decade.

Slight growth at the end of the 20th century turned to decline during the recession of the early 2000s. The number of breweries remained relatively flat until 2009 or 2010, the beginning of the increase that further spiked beginning in 2013.

The apparent recent drop in growth rate is actually due to incomplete data for 2017. The current count of breweries is as of the end of the first quarter, so it is reasonable to expect continued growth. In fact, we’re on pace to add 2,000 new breweries in one year, the first time that’s ever happened. If that pace continues, 2017 will add nearly double the number added in 2016.

Fastest Growing Brewery States

  1. Arkansas (900%)
  2. Alabama (740%)
  3. Virginia (680%)
  4. North Carolina (637%)
  5. Texas (620%)
  6. Florida (574%)
  7. Indiana (570%)
  8. North Dakota (566%)
  9. New York (545%)
  10. Minnesota (538%)

The growth rates listed above reference the last ten years, the time when most of the brewery growth has happened. As is the case with high percentage growth, many of these states had very few breweries in 2007. Arkansas, for example, had only four breweries in 2007 (the same number it had in 1997). Now Little Rock and Fayetteville lead the way and the entire state boasts 36 breweries. Similarly, Alabama jumped from five in 2007 (down from eight in 1997) to 37 in 2017.

Many on the list started above Arkansas and Alabama’s current levels in 2007, and still grew at rates close to those southern states. New York had 77 breweries in 2007 and now has over 400. Texas and Florida both decreased considerably between 1997 and 2007 but bounced back in a big way thanks to the national trend, now with 279 breweries in the Lone Star State and 287 Sunshine State breweries.

Perhaps most indicative of the nationwide growth is that the slowest growing states still doubled the number of breweries in ten years. Hawaii, with just a dozen breweries in 2007, now has 25. Brew-happy Wisconsin, which lost its spot in the top 10 overall, still added 132 breweries, a growth rate of 226%.

No matter the color of beer you drink, it’s clear that there are more options than ever. And that trend appears to be continuing, with more breweries than ever set to be added this year. So raise a pint of pilsner, porter, or IPA to thousands of US breweries, coast to coast.