world health and cool use of animation


Do you know the answers to this set of questions?

In each of the following pairs…

Which country has the highest child mortality?

Sri Lanka or Turkey
Poland or South Korea
Malaysia or Russia
Pakistan or Vietnam
Thailand or South Africa

This is from a pre-test given to Swedish university students by Professor of International Health Hans Rosling of the Karolinska institute, and the answers are given in a lecture that he presented at the TED 2006 conference*. Jenny of Baggage Carousel 4 offers up and discusses the video of this lecture, where you can go to get the answer to the questions. The answers are about a minute and a half into the video, but don’t stop watching there. It’s an amazing lecture, and fun to watch, and, as my friend Jenny puts it:

even if you couldn’t give a fig about international health and development, rosling shows an amazing, dynamic use of data the likes i’ve never seen before.

I’ve never seen the likes of it either. And as someone who works with a lot of data, I was blown away by the power of the visual data presentation, which uses animated graphics and something called Trendalyzer produced by Gapminder. These aren’t your grandmother’s line charts.

And as someone who does give a fig about international heath and development (I’d like to think I give a whole lot of figs about it), and have read books and taken courses relating to these issues (albeit more than a decade ago), I learned a huge amount just from watching that video. Wow.

*(note: I thought it was from the 2007 TED conference, but I see now he talked about something a little different this year. And apparently swalllowed a sword.)

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