2017 Excellence in GIS Runner Up – Large Community

Excellence in GIS – Large Community (population over 50,000) – Health and Human Services

IndyVitals tool to measure the health and sustainability of neighborhoods in Marion County, Indiana

Organizations from multiple sectors trying to make Indianapolis a great place to live and work faced the challenge of telling a common story about a particular neighborhood and making meaningful comparisons. Each entity saw a different version about a neighborhood from its perspective, which impacted the effectiveness of varied efforts to transform negative conditions into positive ones. In essence, apples were compared to oranges rather than apples to apples.

IndyVitals was developed to offer a user-friendly digital solution to this problem. Launched in June 2016, the digital tool allows users to track change and compare neighborhoods on several sustainability measures. IndyVitals puts everyone on the same page, puts the data in a common framework, and simplifies access, revealing the areas of critical need and opportunity in Indianapolis neighborhood areas to guide more successful endeavors to develop and improve these communities. All organizations are able to see the same data and read the same story, responding with programs, resources, and initiatives that are relevant to the specific needs of every neighborhood.

The true power of IndyVitals is its ability to coordinate actions of community partners through data. This consequently aligns diverse planning partners toward a common goal and better organizes municipal government using common “building blocks” of neighborhood geographies.

IndyVitals was created initially for Plan 2020 (a planning initiative of the GIPC), the Department of Metropolitan Development, the Indy Chamber, and other community leaders with a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant to the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC).  IndyVitals is one of the four main elements of the city’s bicentennial plan. It has proven useful for many other sectors since its inception.

Sharon Kandris, Project Manager, The Polis Center at IUPUI

Neil Devadasan, System Engineer, The Polis Center at IUPUI

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