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[Video]: Animating Data in Real Space (Hans Rosling)

December 19, 2010

Last year, when I was posting TED Talks on Sunday mornings, one of my favorite "talkers" was Hans Rosling, the Swedish global health researcher and data visualization wiz. In this talk from 2007, Rosling dazzled the TED crowd with a startling two-dimensional presentation depicting the dramatic progress made by countries in sub-Saharan over the last fifty years.

Time, and technology, marches on. In this new made-for-the-Web presentation, Rosling leaves the two dimensions of his computer screen behind and, with a little help from his friends, translates his eye-opening data into the three dimensions of real space. It's enough to make you want to take a statistics course.

(Running time: 4:48)

-- Mitch Nauffts

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It is a very compelling presentation, but despite the three dimensional gloss, leaves quite a bit out. I would be really interested in seeing this information charted against data on species extinction, and/or resource depletion, and/or climate change and/or pollution. Regarding species extinction, while the overall picture for our species may be moving up the graph, many other species have fallen off it altogether. So many, in fact, we live in the era of what's been termed the Sixth Great Extinction—driven largely by human-related actions. By charting public health data against a larger planetary health context, we will gain insights into costs and whether and whether the trend can continue.

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