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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, March 16, 2007

Data Display Tools

The buzz is growing about some new websites with interesting tools for sharing, displaying, and talking about data. is in "alpha version" but is already a fascinating place to upload data and use one of their many tools to display the data and invite conversation. See their new "tag cloud" function display word frequencies in the screenplay for Monty Pyhton and the Holy Grail, check out the scatterplot of 40,000 years of CO2 and temperature data, or map per capita personal income by state. Lots of fun display options. provides a different set of display options and discussion opportunities for your data. The addition of pictures with the data make displays like this one on foreclosures or this one on shark attacks much more eye-catching. has incredibly robust data sets already uploaded, and now allows you to upload your own data and discuss it in groups. You can tailor your own geographies by building them from the census tract up, choose your indicators (or add your own data), and then create charts, graphs, and maps for discussion. Fewer pretty pictures but the strength of available information (2,000 plus indicators with solid trend line data available) make this a must see.

More data display and discussion tools are expected to be announced soon. If you know of any other useful, fun, or interesting data display tools available, please let me know.


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