More fun with Gapminder / Trendalyzer

Watching internet usage vs. income on the visualizer is very interesting.

Several things are quite apparent. (1) Internet usage exploded in all countries in the world. (2) Richer countries have more internet usage (linear relationship on the scatterplot), but it’s been increasing in all countries regardless.

The animation has a few issues, of course — I think some of the funny, rapid movements at the very start are due to issues with when they started collecting reliable data on internet usage in the early 90′s, and the data probably started being more reliable at different times in different countries, etc.

These are countervailing phenomena that require attention to variation within and across groups of data. I can’t imagine pie charts or tables of numbers that could ever convey this level of nuance.

One last thing. Going to the linear scale (so you can see differences in large amounts of internet use), watch South Korea vs. United States. Korea, a country with about half of the U.S.’s income per capita, is quite behind, then suddenly rockets ahead and surpasses the U.S. in the late 90′s. (This is the country where Starcraft is a national sport — are we getting p0wned??)

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