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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Indicators on Balloons: Un-missable Data Display has proposed a new way of displaying data in real time for community benefit. They're putting air pollution data up in the air so that people can see it from 20 kilometers away. From their website:

AĆ©rophile has just installed an entirely new captive balloon concept in Paris, one that has no equivalent anywhere in the world. This larger-than-life tourist attraction takes on a civic angle by becoming an unheard-of, spectacular means of information on air quality.

For the first time ever worldwide, air can be seen. Using a revolutionary lighting system, the balloon now informs city dwellers in real time on atmospheric pollution, via two distinct indexes :

  • Ambient air quality, reflected through general illumination of the balloon using three projectors located upon the envelope’s equatorial plane, with better night time visibility.
  • Air quality near major traffic arteries, using a high-power rotating laser beam that sweeps the envelope’s southern tropical plane.

In Paris, data is collected by sensors set up by “Airparif” in several spots throughout the City (data complies with the new European index developed for the CITEAIR project and currently used by about thirty large cities.) Collected indices highlight the quantity of the three most harmful contaminants (Nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particles) found in the atmosphere, according to the following colour coding: red for highly polluted air, orange for polluted, yellow for mediocre, light green for clean and green for very clean.

Now, isn't that cool? Anyone have other examples of larger-than-life indicator displays?

(Hat tip: information aesthetics)


Post a Comment