See this UPDATE
Google has bought the software Trendalyzer from Gapminder Foundation (Sweden). Trendalyzer is a software product for animating statistics. Professor Hans Rosling, Karolinska Institute, is the chairman of Gapminder, and professor Bo Sundgren, Statistics Sweden and Mid Sweden University, and Ms. Gun-Britt Andersson, former Swedish ambassador to the OECD, are two members of the board. Google’s intention is to make Trendalyzer available free of charge to all statistics producers who are prepared to make their statistics available free of charge on the Internet. In connection with the deal between Google and Gapminder, the Chief Programmer of Trendalyzer, Ola Rosling, and his closest collaborators, have been employed by Google and will continue developing the software with Google in Mountain View, United States. The capital that is transferred by Google to the Gapminder Foundation as a consequence of the deal will enable the foundation to intensify its efforts to develop and implement methods and products popularizing statistics as a tool for engaging people in global social and economical issues. Actively supported by Google and its co-founder and President (Products), Larry Page, the Gapminder Foundation will also intensify the efforts to make all official statistics produced by national and international agencies everywhere in the world available on the Internet in a user-friendly way – and free of charge for everyone.
Please refer also to the website, www.gapminder.org, and the blog on that website, where the news was commented in the following way yesterday, Friday:
Friday, 16 March 2007
|Gapminder and Google share an enthusiasm for technology that makes data easily accessible and understandable to the world. Gapminder’s Trendalyzer software unveils the beauty of statistics by converting boring numbers into enjoyable interactive animations. We believe that Google’s acquisition of Trendalyzer will speed up the achievement of this noble goal. Trendalyzer’s developers have left Gapminder to join Google in Mountain View, where Google intends to improve and scale up Trendalyzer, and make it freely available to those who seek access to statistics.The Stockholm-based Gapminder Foundation will continue to spearhead the use of new technology for data animations. The goal is to promote a fact-based worldview by bringing statistical story-telling to new levels. In collaboration with producers of accurate statistics that are eager to give the public free access to databases, Gapminder hopes to recruit and inspire many users of public statistics.
Official blog from Google:
A world in motion
Mark Twain said, “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” We’re pretty sure Twain’s definition of pliable is different from ours. Building flexibility into search, email, and other Google products is critically important as we seek to organize the world’s information, and it’s only natural that we should continue to look for ways to make the use of such statistics more “pliable” as well.
In this regard, we are excited to announce that we have acquiredGapminder’s Trendalyzer software, and we welcome the Trendalyzer team to Google. Trendalyzer generates moving graphics and other novel effects in the display of facts, figures, and statistics in presentations.In its nimble hands, Trendalyzer views development data—such as regional income distribution or trends in global health—as literally a world of opportunity. Like Google, Gapminder strives to make information more useful, and Trendalyzer will improve any function or application in which data might be better visualized.
Gathering data and creating useful statistics is an arduous job that often goes unrecognized. We hope to provide the resources necessary to bring such work to its deserved wider audience by improving and expanding Trendalyzer and making it freely available to any and all users capable of thinking outside the X and Y axes.
That’s our definition of “pliable.” Please stay tuned, and we’ll tell you more as soon as we can.
See also the Official Google blog with comments and Google-links.
Statistics Sweden is represented as a board member of Gapminder Foundation through Prof. Bo Sundgren, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.