Visualising global data via a single chart is always problematic unless you want to illustrate a single moment in time – as per the excellent data sharing site Many Eyes. While Many Eyes is impressive and a step forward in data sharing it does not allow data visualisation over time, unlike the recently Google acquired ‘The GapMinder’.
The movie above illustrates a screen grab visualising Life expectancy in years against the percentage of population categorised as living in urban areas between 1960 and 2003. Of note its the way the data can be played over time making the data and more importantly the tends in the data suddenly understandable.
The Gapminder Foundation state that ‘There has been a market failure in distributing global data. A lot of people are interested in the data, but don’t get access to it (and if they manage to access the data, they need to be advanced skilled statisticians to analyze it). Gapminder wants to make data more accessible and easier to use for instant visual analysis. We believe decision makers, politicians as well as education at almost all levels lack adequate tools’.
Take a look at Gapminder – now hosted under tools.google….