Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

mapping the data

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are 366 maps, also available as PDF posters.

For example here is the adult literacy map.
In this map, the size of the territory shows the proportion of all people over 15 years old that live there who are literate.

"I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."

And on that note...

In this map, the size of the territory size shows the proportion of all people who live there who are members of trade unions.

Funny how, in all the talk about the correlation between literacy rates and GDP, we never hear about the correlation between being a union member and being literate that seems to be illustrated here (except in South Asia).

Below each map there is a link to the Technical notes for this data. Click on this link to find out the definitions and sources for the map. These graphic illustrations are interesting but they are mostly based on quantitative data and, as is often the case with quantitative data, tend to raise more questions than they answer.

And that brings us back to the old adage: "There are three types of lies - lies, damn lies, and statistics."

1 comment:

John Austin said...

These maps are quaint but I don't see anything useful in them.

Why are individual countries distorted? Is there something special about Alaska, why is it distorted differently than the 'lower 48'?

That is a lot of noise relative to signal.

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