Monday, February 23, 2009

'Yes They Can!' dynamic global stats (WN0017)

Yes they can! from Gapminder Foundation on Vimeo.

It's easy to view statistics as anything but interesting in the way that they are commonly presented - lists of numbers on a page, graph or table are rarely intended to be viewed as dynamic.

There are, however, other ways to view them. Hans Rosling of Sweden's Gapminder Foundation makes a presentation in the video above that may completely change the way you look at the world.

Using the unique Trendalyzer software developed by Gapminder (and later acquired by Google), this lecture brings statistical data about global development alive and makes a very compelling arguement for altering one's worldview.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Greening Tokyo (WN0016)

Sometimes you come across something on the web that is hard to resist letting others know about. Being an ongoing Tokyophile, I was alerted to these images via a couple of feeds in my Tweetdeck (a tool that lets you keep track of what's going on in your Twitterverse).

If you count the surrounding prefectures (Yokohama, Chiba, Saitama, etc), the entire Tokyo region is made up of 34,000,000 people. That's a lot of folks condensed into what is effectively a very small space. Naturally, green spaces are pretty hard to come by and of great value when they do appear.

The Green Island Project have put a contemporary and ecological twist on a popular theme in Japanese creative culture of re-imagining of the city. In these pictures, the streets of Tokyo have been grassed over. For places that I'd come to know so well over the five years I lived there, it puts the city in a remarkably different light.

The picture at the top is of Shinjuku while the one below is of Shibuya. Click here to visit some of my own pictures of the city.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Twestival explained

I'm now a fully-fledged member of the international twitterati! I kicked off just before Christmas, figuring that if the American President was using it, I couldn't have him being ahead of me on tech.

Seems that it's exploding now, as this article from explains. Twitter was already cited as the main pusher of on-the-spot news in the Mumbai hotel attacks and is rapidly on the way to becoming the essential new communications technology for the world.

I'll write more about it soon, but in the meantime above is a short video explaining how it's being used to quickly organise a serious of decentralised but global events to raise money for charity. (named 'Twestival'). Goes to show that decentralisation of control doesn't just have to be used for bad ends.

Follow my tweets here (or on the side bar of this blog).