Community Data Lab

The Community Data Lab introduces students to issues related to uses of data in, for, by and against local communities. Through discussions, lectures, and a series of activities, students in this project-based course consider the following questions (among others), in relation to a community of their choice:

  • What data is relevant to this community? How is it used? By whom/what? Who makes these choices?
  • How is data about this community collected/controlled?
  • What tools are used to collect, store, organize, and use this data?
  • What data is collected about this community?

Students are introduced to issues of consent and refusal, examples of data use in healthcare, social media, planning, and policy making, and tools used for decision-making and data visualization. They build their study for the semester around a chosen community, and create final projects related to data use, data defense, or translation in communities.

2020 Lab

The below exhibition of student work from the Fall 2020 community lab covers a range of issues of importance to North Carolina communities.

Mapping Durham Waste Sites: A tool for empowering Durham County residents to uncover and address local environmental injustices

by Kennedy McGuinness

(Visit Site)

Link to Mapping Durham Waste Sites:

Town of Chapel Hill Budget: A Guide to the General Fund

by Rachel Wood and Sophie Nachman

(Visit Site)

Link to Town of Chapel Hill Budget A Guide to the General Fund

The Decline of Raleigh’s Local Newspapers

by Allison Kittinger and Sarah Wall

(Visit Site)

Link to The Decline of Raleigh's Local Newspapers

Durham Expungement Process and Worksheet

by Jess Epsten and Jade Bruno

(Visit Site)

Link to Durham Expungement Worksheet

Triangle Farmers: 21st-Century Faces of Farming in North Carolina’s Triangle

by Hannah Jacobs and R. Dee Gladney

(Visit Site)

Link to Triangle Farmers

Understanding Durham Elected Officials

by Alexandra Paz and Adrienne McNair

(Visit Site)

Link to Understanding Durham Elected Officials