My God, it's full of dots!
August 27, 2015 2:28 AM   Subscribe

The globe of economic complexity is a beautifully trippy interactive dot-based map of $15.3 trillion or world trade, each glowing dot encoding $100 millions worth of exports (poster). It is based on the Atlas of economic complexity by Harvard University Data Visualisation Fellow Romain Vuillemot and developed by WikiGalaxy creator Owen Cornec.
posted by elgilito (9 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
It's beautiful, but I have to get to a full-size screen to really dig in. My dad does import/export, so I want to show this to him!
posted by wenestvedt at 4:00 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Exactly what wenestvedt said.
posted by infini at 4:12 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's mesmerizing and colorful, but so dense in data as to be overwhelming. I recommend picking a particular product and then exploring it that way. Cool, though!

(Hunh: I came back, on a nice MacBook with Safari, and I am told that it needs WebGL and I can't see it. FireFox works, though.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:18 AM on August 27, 2015

The glowing dots are pretty but I'm not sure it communicates very well. The flat views on the Atlas website are a lot easier to understand. I particularly like the treemaps; I'm much more interested in that statistical view of the data. The geographic organization on a globe isn't really very informative other than being familiar.

If cyberpunk maps are your thing, Internet attack maps love glowing lines on globes. Both the Kaspersky Map and the Norse Attack Map look like they were designed for Lawnmower Man 3.
posted by Nelson at 6:33 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm trying to figure out why Canada exports its cars from Ellesmere Island.
posted by clawsoon at 6:59 AM on August 27, 2015

I'm trying to figure out why Canada exports its cars from Ellesmere Island.

Harper's new plan for arctic sovereignty?
posted by selenized at 8:01 AM on August 27, 2015

OK I click on foodstuffs and california has no what gives?
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:42 AM on August 27, 2015

I think the dots are equally distributed throughout a nation.
posted by aniola at 9:44 AM on August 27, 2015

neat, seeing it as a globe tho made me want the 'original' version (also at MIT) to have an aggregate view for the world, so you can quickly see what the whole earth imports/exports at once for any given year, and then the country breakdowns by product -- that is, say, for all the copper exported/imported in 2011, chile exported $x (y%), peru exported $x (y%), [...], china imported $x (y%), etc.

also btw, fwiw, c├ęsar hidalgo (one of the primary authors on the atlas) wrote a great book -- why information grows -- on some of the ideas and theory behind economic complexity where i'm less interested in its predictive power than its capacity to reconceptualize and ground economics in information theory and actually measurable inputs and outputs to figure out what works (and doesn't) in terms of development and its distribution :P

oh and check out one of hidalgo's other projects: DataViva (a sort of localized atlas of visualizations for brazil to see connections among different sorts of data; imagine if it was expanded to all of s.america and more!)
posted by kliuless at 11:47 AM on August 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

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