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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

World Freedom Atlas

The World Freedom Atlas describes itself as "a geovisualization tool for world statistics. It was designed for social scientists, journalists, NGO/IGO workers, and others who wish to have a better understanding of issues of freedom, democracy, human rights, and good governance. It covers the years 1990 to 2006."

What it is, is a pretty cool Flash-driven tool that lets you choose variables out of 12 different data sets regarding political freedom and human rights issues and it displays the results on a world map. You can also choose which year to represent to see how some things change and others remain the same.

Thanks again to the Social Science Statistics blog for the heads-up. You'll want to read their description of the site and the associated comments for a professional's-eye view.

The map is really quite interesting -- picking an issue and clicking through the available years lets you observe the changes beginning in 2001, for example, or the shifts in Russia that are now beginning to make headlines. Play around with it and let me know what you think -- about the information, the ease of use of the data display tool, and how such technology might be adapted to your community indicators set. (I'd love to see an option to set the map to run through the years automatically for a given indicator, to get a visual flow of the trends without having to click through. Can you imagine a twenty-year visual map of changes in economic conditions or social variables in neighborhoods in your community displayed on such a map? Somebody program one for me to highlight here!)

Good work, Zachary Johnson!


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