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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Maps for Advocacy

Here's a nifty resource that may help you turn data into positive community action. Maps for Advocacy is a tool provided by the Tactical Technology Collective (tagline: "demystifying technology for non-profits".)

This is an astounding introduction to mapping: what it is, how to use it, how to host maps on your website, how to get data, how to choose your mapping tools, and even a glossary to explain all those terms you keep hearing people use (API? GPS? GIS? SHP file?) I like the case studies and the illustrations.

Here's how they describe the booklet on their website:

Recognising the power of maps, Tactical Technology Collective (, has published a booklet - Maps for Advocacy - which is an introduction to Geographical Mapping Techniques.

The booklet is an effective guide to using maps in advocacy. The mapping process for advocacy is explained vividly through case studies, descriptions of procedures and methods, a review of data sources as well as a glossary of mapping terminology. Scattered through the booklet are links to websites which afford a glance at a few prolific mapping efforts.

Hosting a map on your website can now become a reality as the guide takes the reader through the specifics of the process.

Examples of valuable data sources like youtube, facebook, flickr, socialight etc have been cited along with a brief outline of their mapping features.

The fold-out offers an illustrative sketch of the inside story while the fold-in lists a swift and easy method to create a map.

The purpose of the booklet is to enable advocacy groups explore and exploit the potential of maps to effectively send out their message. Hopefully, this effort will be another in Tactical Tech's recent list of ventures towards empowering advocacy groups to capitalise on the many advantages of information, communication and digital technologies.

Check it out!

(Hat tip: Flowing Data)


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