Infographics for idealists

Recently I happened to stumble upon the Google Labs website and found Public Data Explorer, the updated version of Trendanalyzer© (Hans Rosling, Gapminder Foundation), purchased by Google in 2007.

By means of this tool, it is possible to create a motion graph, just like Hans Rosling did at the TED conference in 2006! The availability of public datasets is still limited and the project is labeled ‘experimental’ (see FAQ).

On display -top of this post- are the World Development Indicators for the subset of Internet use (1990-2008). Surprising in this example is to see China surpass the United States (end of 2007).

Offcourse, one can find other examples of similar web-applications, like the ManyEyes project (IBM) and the SimileProject (MIT). Still, Google has the advantage of being able to reach more ‘eyeballs’. The real big question in this matter is which party is pragmatic or idealistic…

For more information, see these links or survey the following datasets.

Note: if your browser does not support the display of the motion graph (IFrames), please try the original source at Google Labs.