There's a map for that.

And now nonprofits can get it for free.

ESRI, the company that produces the ARCView series of geographic information systems applications, announced today its Nonprofit Organization Program, intended to provide copies of the seminal mapping software for free to nonprofits.

"The Esri Nonprofit Organization Program is designed to provide conservation and humanitarian nonprofit organizations around the world an affordable means of acquiring ArcGIS software and services," the company said. Other types of nonprofit organizations may also be eligible for membership in the program.

Mapping software is an extremely useful way of displaying data with a geographic component. For example, in making the announcement, ESRI demonstrated finding connections between maps of rates of poverty, obesity, and diabetes -- important public health issues.

Free software includes not only the base package, but also extensions, such as ones that support remote sensing applications, which are useful for global issues such as climate change and pollution. Nonprofits can get up to 750 seats and 20 servers running the software.

Typically, the software is very expensive, in the thousand-dollar range.

The announcement was made at the Gov 2.0 Summit, held in Washington, D.C. this week.