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The Week In Data

Our weekly round-up of the best of data on the web, as chosen by OWNI's team of data journalists.

by Paule d'Atha On April 23, 2012

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À propos de l'auteur

Paule d'Atha désigne l'équipe des journalistes de données d'Owni : Julien Goetz, Sylvain Lapoix et Nicolas Patte. Twitter @pdatha.


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A map, some data on CO2 emissions, and a rather hackneyed title: at first glance The Carbon Map doesn’t have much to draw in the passer-by. But it would be quite wrong to do so. Created as part of the World Bank’s Apps for Climate contest, the project combines a clear visualisation with an in-depth treatment of the subject – not something you find every day.

The Carbon Map makes use of the technique of anamorphosis, modifying the boundaries and therefore the impact of countries according to their ranking on a precise indicator. The user can consult not just data related to the extraction, consumption, and emissions of CO2, but also historical information and data on fuel reserves or the overall situation of the country – equally important factors for ecological disruptions – for topics such as area, population, wealth, poverty, population in areas of ecological risks, etc..

The Carbon Map is led by Duncan Clark and Robin Houston, who between them form the Kiln project, from which the map is the first creation. “Kiln combines skills from journalism, web development, data analysis, policywonkery, campaigning and graphic design to help present knowledge and ideas in a clear, fascinating and interactive way,” says their mission statement, which is enough encouragement to keep an eye on them…

The metadata of Wikipedia

According to it’s own Wikipedia page, in November 2009 the Wikipedia site reached 320 million monthly visitors. The Mapping Wikipedia project uses coloured dots on a black background to geographically tag Wikipedia articles according to different criteria: number of authors, word count, density, language, creation date, number of images, numbers of links, section length, or anonymous entries.

A colourful debate

On the question of choosing colours for maps, the Guardian has been doing some soul-searching, as Simon Rogers explained in an article on April 13. For their map of poverty in Britain, they chose the traffic lights code of colours – green meant good, red bad, etc. But they realised that this code is not always interpreted the same way by everyone. Thus was born a debate on Twitter, which has been included in the article via a Storify entitled “Creating a map together“.

This is one of the reasons why Paule d’Atha is so in love with the Guardian: its journalism isn’t strict and dogmatic, but rather is a continuously eveolving journey, that anyone can help to improve.

We hope the same approach will be taken by the new Open Data blog of the Italian site Il Sole.

Where do the rich women live?

It might look like a terrible wallpaper, but this is in fact an interactive application that deconstructs some stereotypes. Produced by CNN in association with Omega, Leading Women (related to the program of the same name on the channel) is based on data from the International Labour Organisation and asks the question – “Where do female business leaders live?” The answer comes in three tables: the number of women in the “working-age population”, the number of “female entrepreneurs”; and the “percentage of female entrepreneurs”.

The results presented are quite surprising: in France, only 1.65% of women of working age are at the head of their company, which places it in 44th place, behind Thailand (18.64% of women) , Bolivia (14.19%) and Colombia (12.4%).

Diving into the depths

A little humour to end: the site xkcd created an infographic whose goal is to show the depth at which the oil company Deepwater Horizon drills. To better measure the distances, it offers some comparisons, such as the depth of Loch Ness, or where the wreck of the Titanic is located.

Have a great data-week everyone!


Find previous editions of The Week In Data on Owni.eu

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