Mind the Gap

May 15, 2007

Mind the GapHow many websites have you seen displayed during a church’s Sunday gathering? I can’t think of any (not even screenshots) until two Sundays ago, when we were shown Gapminder.

First try the basic display. Each bubble represents a country, and the bubble size represents population. The vertical and horizontal axes show health (life expectancy) and wealth (income per capita). Now hit Play in the bottom left, and watch the bubbles over time. Move your cursor around to identify specific bubbles, like the big yellow one in the top right, or the huge red one. Click on countries you’re interested in and hit Play again.

In the last 30 years, it looks like most countries are successfully moving up and right, that is, healthier and wealthier.

Except for all those blue dots.

What are they? The color key identifies them as Sub-Saharan Africa. Hmm. Let’s take a closer look at just a few of those, say, the ones furthest south. Ready? Hit Play.

You are seeing AIDS/HIV decimate southern Africa.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.