Fun with data: the history of the world 1960-2008, and you're in charge

I just spent a happy half hour playing with this – the first of many, I suspect. It’s the latest version of the Hans Rosling/Gapminder graphs that I’ve blogged on before and this one is really user friendly – even I can get it to work. Just click here to start messing around. It allows you to construct a graph of how different indicators from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators dataset change from 1960-2008.  It gives you a ringside seat for a speeded up history of the world – an Olympian feeling, not playing God exactly, but more like being in his/her monitoring and evaluation team.

You can chose different pairs of indicators to see what patterns emerge, e.g. how GDP per capita and infant mortality rates are connected. The closer the bubbles are to a straight line, the better the correlation (you can still argue about causation though). You can highlight particular countries, or change the bubbles to reflect GDP or population or anything else you fancy, rather than have them all the same size. Click on the axes to change the datasets. Put the cursor over any bubble to identify the country – the outliers are the interesting ones. Magic. [h/t Aid Watch]

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