Using statistical data to explain the world, telling stories with statistical data, visualizing statistical data to make these data accessible in a quick and instructive manner – all these topics are well known and belong to long and intensive discussions and activities in many institutions of official statistics. Results can be seen on the websites of National Statistical Institutes and international statistical organisations.
Business Cycle Tracer Statistics Nertherlands
Stat@las Statistics Switzerland
There are many other visualizations and behind all these user friendly databases with free access for everybody. This is the ecosystem of official statistics.
Official satistical data are also used and presented outside the institutions of official statistics (see: earlier post raw data now and helping free up data), the discussions and aims are comparable, the instruments are innovative.
Well known is Gapminder which collects data from many sources and offers a presentation tool that has also been integrated as motion chart in the list of visualization widgets of Google spreadsheets.
Google’s Fusion Tables (see earlier post Fusion Tables and gov.data) provide some more possibilities of data collaboration and data visualization. Listening to Alon Halevy, senior Google engineer and Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute (which uses Fusion Tables) well known arguments can be heard: ‘ “The biggest potential [of Google Fusion Tables] is to build an ecosystem of data on the Web. This means making it easy for the people to upload, to merge data sets, to discuss the data, to create visualizations and then to take these visualizations and put them elsewhere on the Web so that there’s better data on the Web.” ‘
Link: Google Fusion Tables