Here’s the question… Are the regional organizations, i.e. EDA regions, Tourism, EMS and the like, pulling our counties together into cohesive groups, weaving the counties into interrelated groups or pulling the local leaders apart as they respond to the needs of different regions with different characteristics?
Below is a graph of the counties and some of the different regional groups they are connected to. The visualization uses an experimental tool from Google called Fusion Tables (you may notice some strange actions).
The orange dots represent different regional organizations and the blue dots are the counties of Kansas. As you can see there are a few clusters of counties that have similar allegiances and they get pulled together into large masses in the view. Other counties, for instance Morris or Marion, are relatively isolated and pulled between many groups. You can use your mouse to hover over the county or group to highlight the direct connection. What might this mean to the local leaders in the region? How might this effect how services are provided?
There are potential advantages of either tightly clustered groups of counties that know how to work together or highly interwoven network that provide opportunities to share knowledge. We present the visualization to spur conversation about the composition of regional groups.