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Capitalism, corruption, consuming society? - OVERPOPULATION!
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Public data, GDP and Google

There is interesting information source of public data, created by google. It is quite useful 'cause now you don't have to waste time for downloading data and creation of a graph - google already did it. You just have to customize visualisation for your goals.

GDP per capita (current US$) - World Bank

While in Finland I'm trying to find out interesting facts about country that was too small for me to pay attention to it when I was in Russia. One such fact is that economy of Finland had a serious impact with USSR collapse. You can see it on the graph above. Thanks to trade with Soviet Union GDP per capita in Finland grown fast and was higher than in US in 1990 and then was a sharpen fell for 3 years. Only in 2007 Finland managed to overcome US with this parameter again - it took 17 years.

Now let's look at graph below. There is GDP per capita too, but from another source - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Graph for US is pretty much the same, but for Finland and Russia it is quite different. Finland does not best US and impact from USSR destroying is less significant, and numbers for recent years for Russia looks more promising than on previous graph. Looks like OECD failed (or didn't wanted to) to recalculate numbers properly. So you should pay attention to sources and units for data you use.

GDP per capita - OECD Factbook 2009

Hope Google will add more public data soon and develop additional export, import and visualization options like in FactBook eXplorer for example;-)


  1. Don't believe anyone, especially Google ;) I'd pull the data myself and make a chart in R. Takes 5 minutes, but gives you much more freedom and knowledge for future.

    Yes, I've found your blog! :)

  2. Yes, operating with original data is always better, but when it is not a scientific research and just a curiosity - Google is just good enough to have some insights on a subject.

    P.S. I do not hide my blog ;-)