Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Data Visualizations III

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, I thought I'd direct your attention to a fascinating blog called Information Aesthetics. This placed is geared to the concept that "form follows data" -- the site concentrates on bring a wealth of information about data visualization and visual communication.

Where else would you find out about sweaters with data knit into them? Or see what your baby might look like with different potential mates?

Some of the links are more traditional data sets with interesting displays, like a toxic site a day. Others display more unusual data sets, like how you're feeling.

What I find most useful about the site is the constant challenge to the idea that data can only be shared in lines plotted on x-y axes, or in stacked columns or pie charts. Here's a place to go to get your creative juices flowing.

Because, after all, the point of community indicators projects isn't just to collect stacks of relevant data. It's to get that data to tell a story to spark community change. And if the traditional means of displaying graphs and tables aren't connecting with the community, maybe something else could command their attention long enough for the story to sink in and become an impetus for community action.


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