Beautiful Packaging, Ugly Statistics
Recently in my commutes to work I've been using these incredible flash-based, interactive representations of development statistics. (Don't worry, I ride the bus.) These modules, created by a Swedish group called Gapminder, are attractively designed and highly educational. I have long been a great fan of sharp design in the interest of development. These are as great a communication tool as I have ever seen.
From the Gapminder website:
"Gapminder is a non-profit venture for development and provision of free software that visualize human development. ... It all started in 1998 from an idea to enhance the understanding of world health. We developed prototype software showing time series of health statistics as moving graphics and varying life conditions as 360¬? photo panoramas from homes, schools and health facilities. From the prototype emerged the Dollar Street project with Save the Children Fund in Sweden and the World Health Chart project with WHO. Within the later project Gapminder developed the free software Trendalyzer that turns boring time series of development statistics into attractive moving graphics. "