The World Bank has just launched a new website that features a “publicly accessible tool for data visualization,”  called the Data Visualizer.

“The time series used in Data Visualizer is a subset of 2009 World Development Indicators database. It contains 49 indicators for 209 countries and 18 aggregates from 1960-2007. Data includes social, economic, financial, information & technology, and environmental indicators.”

Basically, countries or economic regions are represented as brightly coloured bubbles on a chart and you can choose from a list of variables for both the x and the y axis.  The bubbles move around as you drag the time slider across the bottom of the chart – representing change over time.   If you play around with the Visualizer you can probably figure out the basics of using it and interpreting the data, but apparently there are more advanced features that you might miss.  Fortunately the World Bank has also put together a freely downloadable  instructional video for users that will allow you to maximize this great free tool.

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