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.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Community Indicators: Citizen Scientists

I like the trend highlighted in this report from CNN's SciTech blog -- everyday people contributing to data collection. John Sutter calls it the "democratization of science" -- people capturing photos of wildlife, entering GPS locations of animals found, recording bird migrations -- all adding to a much broader scientific picture. It's the same message we've been trumpeting about data openness -- except it's headed the other way, with ordinary citizens providing information that scales upward.

This brings data sharing full circle, and I like it. See how you can be involved with this list of citizen scientist opportunities. I think we as community indicators practitioners ought to be paying attention to this trend, and with the right kind of framework/schema, we can be haviing more and more citizen-generated data aggregating upward to tell us much more about our communities, states, and the country we live in.

If you have experience in citizen-created data collection, please share!

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