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GeoTree: An Interactive Tool for Classifying Geographic Focus

How to Use the GeoTree

Recommendations for Use

We hope the GeoTree will clarify how the Center codes Geographic Areas Served information based on the grant text and recipient information organizations provide in their grant data. Ideally, the text provided by foundations is as specific as possible - if a grant or organization serves two countries in Africa, the grant or organization text would state the names of those countries rather than the name of the continent. Furthermore, if a grant or organization serves a region, like North Africa, we encourage organizations to refer to the GeoTree to see whether they define North Africa in the same way. Whether or not you agree with the definition, you can use the GeoTree as a reference point to understand how Foundation Center staff will interpret the way you report your grants to us and, in turn, how that information will be represented in our reports and information products.

Ways to use the GeoTree include:
  • Download a branch of the GeoTree to use in your grants management software
  • Integrate the GeoTree into your grants management software using the API tools available to search the tree
  • Facilitate an internal discussion about your current geographic codes and taxonomy
  • Create a geographic coding system
  • Use as a reference tool to inform your work
Completing a Basic Search
  1. Begin to type the name of the place you would like to search for in GeoTree in the Search box until you see the place name appear in the search results. Choose the place you would like to search for and then click Submit.
  2. The screen will refresh with all the results in the GeoTree where that place name appears within a hierarchy string. All results will start at World and increase in detail as they work down the tree. For example, searching "Brooklyn" will return 30 results that appear as follows:

  3. You can sort search results by Place Name, Parent Name, Nation, Continent or Place Type to help you easily identify your intended location. Once you select a result the screen will refresh and show you where that location is within the GeoTree.
  4. To view the location on the map click the globe icon to the right of the name. To export branches of the GeoTree click the icon to the left of a locationís name and then click Submit next to "Export records for..."

Please note, when downloading records from the GeoTree, the location you choose from which to start your download affects the results included in your download. For example, after selecting "Africa" for export, your download will include the "child" records for Africaís "children" up to the country level. To get more granular data for Africa, such as provinces or cities, you will need to select individual African countries for download. Similarly, to export city- and neighborhood-level information for the United States, you need to conduct the export by individual states, rather than by country. The export is subject to these restrictions because otherwise the results would be too lengthy to fit in Excel.

If you have questions or comments about exporting records or would like to make a special download request, please e-mail us at geotree@foundationcenter.org.

Information on GeoTree APIs and other web services, in addition to the Foundation Centerís best practices for applying geographic coding, will be posted soon.

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