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Thursday, June 29, 2006


Posted by on June 29 at 10:59 AM

One of the things that makes An Inconvenient Truth so effective is Al Gore’s use of technology to present his data in a compelling way. His charts and graphs are animated, show progression over time, and combined with the use of imagery from around the world, they manage to transform mountains of boring data points into a gripping education on how it all fits together.

Swedish public health expert Hans Rosling has started a non-profit called Gapminder that aims to use similar techniques to make the vast amount of public health data accessible and useful to everyone.


Check out this video of a lecture Rosling gave demonstrating what they’ve done, then go to Gapminder and play with charts.

Everybody loves to play with public health charts, right? Is it just me?

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Wow. Plot the number of medical doctors per 1000 people, versus the number of internet users per 1000. Animate over time. Note the rapid horizontal movement of China and India.

Perhaps I'm just a loon, but I wonder how much money has gone into the development of internet access for business parks in Bangalore, that could have gone into mosquito netting, or treatments for malaria?

Next time your Krazy Konservative Kapitalist friend tells you that laissez-faire economics "raises all ships," show the bastard *this* tool.

This is so amazing and fun. Watching the Rwandan life expectancy drop to 24 in the early 90s was sobering. I'm glad there are people out there smarter than me.

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