Gapminder uses animated and interactive data-visualisation to display statistics with the intention of promoting a fact based world view. Gapminder takes the plethora of quality data we have on issues like fertility, mortality rates, etc, and displays it in a way that exposes our pre-conceived notions about our understanding of the world, including the characteristics of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries.
In February 2006, one of Gapminder’s founders Hans Rosling gave a TED talk that demonstrated the most effective aspect of Gapminder’s data visualisation, that is, how data changes over time. In a graph that displayed UN statistics of the number of children per family juxtaposed with life expectancy for a number of countries, Rosling takes us through the changes from 1962 to 2003 like a sportscaster calling a horse race as countries represented by animated, colour-coded dots that grow and shrink as they move across the axes.
The Gapminder site offers both static and dynamic materials in the form of PDFs and clickable flash presentations/applications, but the main draw is Gapminder World, where you can create your own animated data-visualisation by investigating whichever countries and using whatever parameters that interest you.