Visualizing a Better World: This App Lets You See Progress on UN Goals Visualizing a Better World: This App Lets You See Progress on UN Goals
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Visualizing a Better World: This App Lets You See Progress on UN Goals

by Adele Peters

February 16, 2013

What does global happiness look like, at a glance? How's the world doing at ending poverty, or giving kids access to universal primary education? While the data's out there, it hasn't always been easy to browse. Better World Flux is a new app that lets you sift through decades of information and see a snapshot of the world state at a given moment in time.

The app is based on the Millenium Development Goals, the UN's plans to achieve eight major milestones in health, sustainability, education, and gender and economic equality by 2015. By selecting a particular indicator—say, child mortality or the national happiness score, or some combination of indicators—you can see in a simple diagram how every country in the world is performing, based on data from the World Bank Open Data. Green means a country's doing well, while red is bad. A slider at the bottom of the histogram allows you to change the year, or slide through the decades watching how the world has changed.   

It's a really interesting way to play with raw data. You can select the indicators you think matter most, and find which countries need the most help, or the ideal country to live in. If you discover interesting trends, you can share your visualization on the Flux website. 

Screenshot from Better World Flux

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Visualizing a Better World: This App Lets You See Progress on UN Goals