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WiserEarth is a user-generated online community space for the social and environmental movement , tracking the work of non-profits around the world . The site maps and connects non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, governments, groups and individuals addressing global issues such as climate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hunger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more. WISER is an acronym for World Index of Social and Environmental Responsibility. WiserEarth.org is the primary program of the non-profit organization WiserEarth.
WiserEarth.org launched on Earth Day (April 22nd) 2007 as an online directory of the 100,000+ organizations touched upon in Paul Hawken's book, Blessed Unrest. The author had amassed a collection of business cards from thousands of organizations over the years, but had not found a comprehensive directory listing all non-profit organizations involved in the social justice and environmental sector. Estimating the number of organizations into total to be well over a million, Hawken launched WiserEarth.org as an online directory to help map out the work done by these organizations. Today, WiserEarth.org incorporates additional social networking features, such as groups and messaging tools, to provide greater possibilities for collaboration. Though its API and content are licensed for non-commercial use (see below), WiserEarth has expanded its organization directory to include listings for for-profit businesses and government agencies.
Facts and figures
As of February 25,2011, WiserEarth provided a directory of more than 112,000 organizations worldwide, over 50,000 registered members, and more than 2,400 groups, with content organized in 46 areas of focus and 379 sub-areas. WiserEarth is currently available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
The WiserEarth Directory is organized around a master list of issues which are "networked" in such a way that registered users can edit the "connections" of each issue to organizations, resources, jobs, events, and groups. The website features groupware and social networking components including graphical "Network Maps". A unique "Solution form" allows any logged in user to state a serious social or environmental problem and propose a way to solve it. The Solution then becomes a named entity that can be shared, modified, and acted upon as the proposed solution is implemented in the real world. The solution form includes a place to record results and observations. Each Solution is provided with a publishing and networking page and a discussion forum. WiserEarth also incorporates embedded Google Maps integrated with the geographical data. The website is a non-profit venture and is free to the public. The data is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.
As of June 2009, WiserEarth offers a RESTfulW API developed under a Creative Commons 3.0 license. The WiserEarth API provides access to an extensive database of "entities" such as Organizations, Groups, Jobs, Events, Resources, and Solutions. There is an associated FAQ and a Developer's Documentation page.