>Gapminder: moving statistics

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I checked out the impressive animated statistics presentation programme Gapminder developed by the Swedish public health and development researcher Prof Hans Rossling. Although the site proclaims its commitment to open source software and positively urges you to download its tools, it seems mainly to house demonstrations of particular sets of stats and earlier presentations done by the Gapminder team. Most, unsurprisingly, concern health and development issues graphically illiustrated with interactive animations of socio-economic and demographic data – I was rather disappointed, however, that it wasn’t more straightfoward to load up your own data and run it on Gapminder – I couldn’t make head or tail of the link to Google – and that there didn’t seem to be any political variables like, say, Freedom House human rights ratings. Still, its’s impressive and arresting – see above my tracking of Botswana’s life expectancy and aveage income score: although one of the success stories of African development (a relative concept, of course), life expectancy crashes through the floor around 1990s due to the impact of AIDS despite a doubling of income.

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