Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Summary: Visualizing data.

Hans Rosling roiled the world with his TED Talk on dynamic data.

The Gapminder website describes the site as, "Gapminder is a non-profit foundation based in Stockholm, Sweden. We are promoting sustainable global development and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view."

This site makes complex data understandable. According to the Economist, Wal*Mart stores one million pieces of data per hour about store transactions. Data store now approaches petrabytes. A petabyte (derived from the SI prefix peta-) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one quadrillion bytes (short scale), or 1000 terabytes, or 1,000,000 gigabytes. So our challenge as a teacher is to make data meaningful. This is what Gapminder accomplishes.

About the Author: Mike Fladlien is an AP Economics teacher from Muscatine High School in Muscatine, IA. He is an EconEdLink.org author, and also publishes the Mikeroeconomics and iMacroeconomics VB blogs.


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