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Imaginary Landscape Announces International Web Development Agreement with the Varieties of Democracy Project

V-Dem is one of the largest social science data collection projects in the world.

April 14, 2015

GOTHENBURG, Sweden and SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Today Imaginary Landscape announced the signing of a comprehensive and international web development agreement with the University of Gothenburg in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame to develop the Varieties of Democracy Project (V-Dem) website. 

The Varieties of Democracy Project is an ambitious, international effort begun in 2010 to produce new indicators of democracy for all countries since 1900. To accomplish its mission, V-Dem is working with experts from around the world to collect data on a number of democracy-related metrics for each country over time.  It is one of the largest social science data collection projects in the world. 

The four principal investigators, from University of Gothenburg and Lund University in Sweden, University of Notre Dame, and Boston University, unanimously selected Imaginary Landscape as the developer of the v-dem.net website.  At its core is a multilingual, responsive website for gathering, processing and presenting the data.

“We are honored to be selected for such an important project,” said Brian Moloney, president and CEO of Imaginary Landscape.  “It presents an interesting set of challenges to overcome that include significant internationalization, processing large data sets on the fly and complex data visualization.”   

In preparation for working with European data, Imaginary completed the Safe Harbor certification process which outlines a set of data safeguards required by the European Union. 

“Imaginary’s work with health care providers and financial institutions made the Safe Harbor process straightforward,” Moloney added.  “We already had the safeguards in place.”

“We were looking for a firm that could get up to speed quickly on the large database, several intricate interfaces, connections to a remote database, and the systems administration. We also wanted a firm with a proven record of developing creative new functionality,” said Michael Coppedge, one of V-Dem's principal investigators and political science professor at Notre Dame. “Imaginary’s deep and longstanding web development expertise made them the best choice for the project.”

About Imaginary Landscape
Founded in 1995, Chicago-based Imaginary Landscape is a leading web development, design and strategy provider for healthcare, educational, association, manufacturing and start-up businesses. Imaginary Landscape has extensive expertise in custom application development, system administration and hosting, user interface and design, and information architecture. 

About V-Dem
Varieties of Democracy is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. It is a collaboration among more than 50 scholars worldwide with institutional homes at the Varieties of Democracy Institute at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, USA. With four Principal Investigators, three Project Coordinators, twelve Project Managers with special responsibility for issue areas, three Research Fellows, more than thirty Regional Managers, almost 200 Country Coordinators, several Research Assistants and more than 2,000 Country Experts, the V-Dem project is one of the largest data collection projects in the social sciences.