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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trulia Hindsight

I was watching a couple of videos from Eric Rodenbeck that information aesthetics had posted on their blog, and he referenced the work they're doing with Trulia Hindsight. So I wandered over to play with this mapping tool.

Here's what you can do: Go to your city (within the United States), and zoom in to the level you're interested in. (It's Microsoft Virtual Earth based, which isn't as easy to navigate as Google Earth, but it's not too hard -- I just keep ending up in the Atlantic Ocean if I zoom in too far without centering in on my city first.)

Now watch the time-series map display housing construction by year, and see visually the housing patterns in your community over the last 100+ years. Pretty amazing, isn't it?

I enjoyed checking on the development patterns of different cities in the U.S. and comparing how they grew, and at what rates.

I don't know how to integrate this kind of visualization into a local community indicators project as yet ... I'd be interested in your thoughts. But it was fascinating to watch anyway.

Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this link - I've actually been playing around with making related visualizations for St. Louis City based on building permit data - it is really fun to watch the videos!

    However, this Trulia visualization blows mine out of the water. I like that it is browsable (I've been making static videos for particular areas), and the addition of the color coded graph-thing really adds to the understanding. I may co-opt some of their elements...

    By the way, this is my first comment, but I have been reading your blog for quite some time, and it is consistently useful. Thanks so much for this service!