Gapminder (Tools of the Geographer)

Gapminder is a helpful data-visualization website that enables you to analyze data trends spatially and temporally.

You can visualize a range of country data using a map, trend lines, or a ranking bar graph. For each option, you can watch an animation of change over time. The available data is broken down into categories such as economy, energy, environment, population, and society.

There are a many datasets embedded in the website that are very relevant to our discussions in class. One is water withdrawal (you can see it if you click on the map header and select environment > water > water withdrawal/person. I chose to compare South African and the United States over time (you can do this by pressing the play button on the bottom left corner of the data viewer). I was surprised to see how dramatically the USA has reduced its water consumption over time. This tool also helped me visualize the large gap between US water consumption and SA water consumption.

2 thoughts on “Gapminder (Tools of the Geographer)

  1. I went and took a look at the website. I clicked around on a few of the graphics and found it really interesting to look at the changes in data over time, and in different countries. I really enjoyed that Gapminder’s mission statement is to fight ignorance, I think we have a seen a lot of this in class, especially when looking at articles on climate change being supposedly false.

  2. I was able to explore the different examples of data trends on Gapminder and found the intersection of different data categories interesting as well as extremely useful. The visualization of trend and inclusion of different aspects of study ( social, economic, and environmental) is useful to accurately and thoroughly compare the gaps and differences between different places

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