The guys at Google are really something.
Now, it is an app still in the Labs stage (i.e., pre-beta) that I noticed today. It is called Google Public Data explorer. What it does is that it brings Economics and Macro-economic indicators alive.Way, way beyond what any spreadsheet applications have done. This feature currently works on specific datasets that Google has compiled. I am sure that the next step will be to allow you to upload your own datasets and use the same engine to animate the stuff.
Take for example this picture. It clearly shows how hypocritical the developed countries are, when they refuse to talk about sharp reduction in emissions, and expect countries like India and China to commit to emission reduction. See their per capita profligacy over the last few decades by clicking on button below the graph. The underlying data is from the World Bank.
Take this picture, that shows how the preparation for the Olympics and the huge increase in steel manufacturing in China made for a sudden acceleration of China's absolute CO2 emissions.
Macro-economics and statistics will never be the same again.
I salute Google. This would be a godsend for researchers and for number-crunchers in companies, once it graduates to allowing us to upload and analyse our own datasets. No more huge money to be spent on data mining and analysis software.
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