Minding the Gap

February 11, 2007

Posted by Jay Livingston

Back in November, I blogged about Google Trends. Now Google has another cool tool, still in beta. It's called Gapminder, and as the name implies, it shows the gaps among countries of the world. You can choose from about a dozen variables, mostly economic and health data, and get an XY graph with the size of each dot corresponding to the population of the country. You can also select which countries to identify with a name label. Here’s a chart showing the proportion of doctors and per capita income. (The actual screen will look clearer than this reprodution.) Belarus, like many of the other former Soviet republics, has much lower income than the US but slightly more doctors per capita.

The flash presentation also tracks changes since 1975. The chart below shows trends in infant mortality and income for the US and the Czech Republic (which has data starting in 1992, the year of its founding).

A similar site, gapminder.org, has slideshow presentations of some of the same variables. It groups countries to show differences among countries of similar economic levels.

1 comment:

Brad Wright said...

That is amazingly cool! Guess I won't be getting much else done this afternoon!