really cool graphs

So, somewhat in response to OW’s post, I give you Gapminder. It produces really amazing graphs. Seriously. Click on “explore the world.” And then explore. I think it’s super cool (WOW is it cool). I saw this by watching a video by its founder, Hans Rosling, present at TED. Laying aside what I think of his accounts of poverty, I say to you, this is the future of presenting graphs! Google bought Gapminder. You can upload data to it. Check it out! Warning: you may waste lots of time here. But it’s time worth wasting.

5 thoughts on “really cool graphs”

  1. Ah, you bring back good memories. One of my first blog posts was on Gapminder…I still remember how Eszter linked to it from Crooked Timber to introduce my blog…And I was just thinking of resurrecting the ol’ site, too…

    As for Gapminder, I haven’t done much with it since Fall 2006, but back then I found it somewhat difficult to use my own data. Maybe it has improved since then?

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  2. Jim,
    The standalone version of Gapminder was beta software a couple of years ago but they yanked it from the net when Google took over. Much of the functionality is available in Google apps via the motion chart widget.

    Hopefully they will develop a full featured standalone version one day. The current widget has key limitations. For example, I don’t think there is currently an easy way to incorporate a motion chart widget into a powerpoint presentation.

    Meanwhile, another great data visualization program to check out is Tableau. It has a very intuitive interface and can easily produce graphs much more attractive than standard Excel/Stata output. One of the Tableau founders is from Pixar. I think another got a PhD studying artificial intelligence. If you could combine the Tableau interface/graphics functionality with a good statistics program, you would have a very nice piece of software.

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  3. I’ve incorporated Gapminder animations into my PowerPoint slides by taking a video screenshot of the animation and putting that video file on a slide. It’s worked well.

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