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Revealing flows in the local economy through visualisations: customers, [clicks/cliques] and clusters

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It is well known by now, that the world has suffered an economic downturn. This has led many governments and organisations to invest resources into researching varying strategies to combat such problem. For some time now,
governments have been promoting growth by encouraging local spending; we have witnessed this through ‘shop local’ campaigns and local currencies. We introduce BARTER a moBile sociAl netwoRking supporTing local Ethical tRading
system to tackle this issue, at it’s core an information system that encompasses technology, social media and business analytics are brought together to engage customers, traders and citizens to spend locally by featuring the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of trading local. After situating BARTER at the heart of the community (with varying traders in and around Lancaster, UK) for some time, this paper is a follow on from a “BARTER Visualisations” design concept, reporting on the progression and recent developments in the project. Whilst these systems are in place within the community, further research is being conducted to evaluate if revealing and transforming transaction data in a playful and informative manner will help citizens better understand the flow of money in the local economy.