You too can be Hans Rosling

If you’re interested in the visual presentation of information, you should already have seen Hans Rosling’s TED talk titled “Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you’ve ever seen” from 2006. If you haven’t, go check it out.

What’s incredibly cool is that Google docs will now let you create Rosling-inspired motion charts here.

So, for example, you could create a motion chart like this one that shows the relationship over time between the housing price index and the unemployment rate; or this one that tells something (I honestly can’t explain exactly what) about trends in the top journals.

To me, the lessons here are:

1. Hans Rosling is a genius AND an incredible story-teller

2. The fact that Google is making these kinds of tools available is just one more reason (along with free, simultaneous collaboration) that Google docs may just obviate Microsoft Office in 2-3 years’ time

3. Just because you have the tools doesn’t mean you should use them.  In truth, neither of the two examples I’ve linked to in this post passes my litmus test of making a clear story out of complex data.

Nevertheless, the tools are fun and worth exploring.  Enjoy.

Example of a motion graph on Google docs

This entry was posted in storytelling and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to You too can be Hans Rosling

  1. Pingback: Visualize History » Examples of related efforts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s