Hans Rosling – Learning by Numbers
Swedish professor Hans Rosling and its website www.gapminder.org have rapidly become one of the most authorative sources of statistics about any kind of global trends. The first issue of Google UK magazine Think Quarterly, the Data Issue, interviewed Hans Rosling as “data superstar”, “the world most famous statistician”. Introducing Rosling the interviewer also mentioned that in 2007 Google Inc. acquired from the gapminder Foundation its software tool Trendalyzer which makes possible to transform data into dynamic and interactive graphics. Google labs has started a project on public visualisation of data which is not yet comprehensive as we would expect, but it gives an idea of the potential of data.
The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don’t have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings. Students, journalists, policy makers and everyone else can play with the tool to create visualizations of public data, link to them, or embed them in their own webpages. Embedded charts and links can update automatically so you’re always sharing the latest available data.
Professor Rosling is also a gifted speakers and his conferences are very popular in internet. I have particularly enjoyed his recent interpretation of the role of the washmashine in modern society.