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Making information easy to understand.

Sameer Vasta's picture

We've been doing a lot with data visualization here at the World Bank these days.

Our new Climate Change beta site has a whole data portal where you can not only get Bank data, but use our data viz tool to create motion charts, timelines, and maps using data that you choose. On top of that, we're working on building some fun toys (more on that later) using the World Bank data API, and I'm working on a few case studies so we can show our developer community just how easy it is to use the data we've released.

We're going to keep working on data visualization, of course, but one of the other things that has been piquing our curiosity here at the Web Program Office has been the use infographics.

GOOD does a wonderful job of sharing their infographics online, and recently I've become enamored of the work presented on Information Is Beautiful, particularly the Billion Dollar Gram they posted last week. (Screenshot below.)

The Billion Dollar Gram

We've also been looking at the New York Times online who have shown clear leadership when it comes to visualization and repurposing information in accessible and fun ways.

All that to say, we're working on finding ways to use infographics more effectively to supplement our feature stories and blog posts. We've still got some work to do: finding resources to create the graphics, figuring out a process to ensure these kinds of graphics are looked at in the conception stage of a story rather than as an afterthought, things like that.

In the meantime, if you've got any links to other groups that are using really neat information graphics, let us know. We're looking for more inspiration. Or, of course, if you can share any tips and best practices (or even get us in touch with people that might be able to help), drop me a line or a comment.

Comments

Submitted by Molly Norris on
A twist on a grade school map recently inspired me to think more about what we can do to make complex data approachable with simple, powerful concepts. This map elimates the bottom 5% of GDP contributors in the world leaving you with a compelling blankness: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/397-eliminating-the-bottom-5/ The emptiness of the removed 5% actually represents vibrant places full of communities and their absence from this economic visualization makes it clear that inclusion remains a striking challenge for the entire world to grapple with.

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