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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.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, May 4, 2009

Community Indicators: Citizen Scientists

I like the trend highlighted in this report from CNN's SciTech blog -- everyday people contributing to data collection. John Sutter calls it the "democratization of science" -- people capturing photos of wildlife, entering GPS locations of animals found, recording bird migrations -- all adding to a much broader scientific picture. It's the same message we've been trumpeting about data openness -- except it's headed the other way, with ordinary citizens providing information that scales upward.

This brings data sharing full circle, and I like it. See how you can be involved with this list of citizen scientist opportunities. I think we as community indicators practitioners ought to be paying attention to this trend, and with the right kind of framework/schema, we can be haviing more and more citizen-generated data aggregating upward to tell us much more about our communities, states, and the country we live in.

If you have experience in citizen-created data collection, please share!


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