Infographics Everywhere: Mapping Data to Improve Life in Indonesia

During World War II, the Japanese occupying Indonesia set up an intricate system of administrative blocks called RTs. The Japanese are, of...

During World War II, the Japanese occupying Indonesia set up an intricate system of administrative blocks called RTs. The Japanese are, of course, long gone, but these RTs have remained in place over the years, and have become enviable tools for information gathering and urban planning. "Imagine if every Census 'block' in the United States had a ‘block captain’ whose responsibility it is to track social and economic information about the families on the block," says Michael Haggerty of the Solo Kota Kita project, which works in the mid-sized city of Solo. "The RT system really is a gift to urban planners." A yearly participatory budgeting process called "musrenbang" is the icing on the grassroots cake.

Or so it should be. According to Haggerty, neither system is being optimized. "What we noticed in Solo was that local government wasn't collecting this information and aggregating it," he says. He and several colleagues launched the Solo Kota Kita project in 2009, believing that organizing this data—and making it more digestible and public—could make a strong infrastructure start producing real results. They started by dispatching "Community Facilitators" to gather local statistics from Solo's 5,000 RTs. Their team then compiled these into a series of Mini Atlases: highly visual fact sheets that profile each of the city's 51 neighborhoods, mapping details on such topics as clean-water availability, education, and disease incidence.

This fall, the Atlases will be available both locally—at musrebang meetings and in community centers—and online. Solo Kota Kita's hope is that approachable design will do what raw numbers can't. "The main idea is to make urban data something that people will engage with," Haggerty says. "Indonesia is actually an incredibly visual culture, and it turns out that infographics go over really well."

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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