I need a data visualization of poverty and literacy. Help!
September 28, 2010 6:39 PM   Subscribe

How can I overlay global literacy and economic (poverty) data onto a map?

Google maps would be cool, but I don't care. I just want to visualize the relationship between poverty (or other economic indicators) and literacy (although education variables would work too.)

Alternatively, any academic references or good data on the relationship between the 2 variables would be welcomed. It is one of those things that is often written about, but empirical studies seem to not be obvious. (It is a minor point that I am making in my dissertation, so an extensive lit review isn't a good use of my time.)
posted by k8t to Technology (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: National/group level > individual level

American data or references are less useful.
posted by k8t at 6:41 PM on September 28, 2010

Response by poster: Go Twitter.

posted by k8t at 7:27 PM on September 28, 2010

Maybe Worldmapper would help. You can make a visual comparison and download the source data.
posted by ramenopres at 8:05 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Try Many Eyes (which I found through another AskMeFi question). Probably side-by-side shaded maps, one for literacy, one for poverty? Or one map, shaded for one dataset with a bubble on top for the other?
posted by The Michael The at 4:05 AM on September 29, 2010

You could try kmlfactbook.org. You do need to have Google Earth installed to run this app.

If a cartogram is an option you could also try ShowRWorld as a visualisation tool.

Good luck.
posted by micklaw at 6:24 AM on September 29, 2010

If you are after a map that you can really customise for publishing, try downloading ESRI's AEJEE free GIS software. It comes with a useful help section and some basic data. You can download additional data, including demographic, economic and social data here (as well as a bunch of other places on the net).
posted by micklaw at 6:28 AM on September 29, 2010

Google Public Data is neat.
posted by dmd at 6:29 AM on September 29, 2010

I tried it out in Mathematica and here is a screen capture of the results.

There I chose to use a pie chart segment to indicate literacy, and color to indicate poverty. I'm sure there is a better way. Mine gets too crowded on a world map.

If you forego the map, you can visualize with a BubbleChart or similar. There is a nice demonstration showing how to do this. (Note you don't need Mathematica to download and run demonstrations; they work fine in the free "Mathematica Player" runtime.)

Here is the Mathematica code I used above:
LiteracyFractionSegment[c_] := 
 Graphics[{Orange, EdgeForm[Black], 
   Disk[{0, 0}, 
    1, {Pi/2 - 
      2 \[Pi] (CountryData[c, "LiteracyFraction"] /. _Missing -> 0), 
     Pi/2}]}, PlotRange -> 1.05]

PovertyColor[q_] := ColorData["NeonColors"][q]
PovertyColor[_Missing] := White

PovertyFractionPolygon[c_] := {EdgeForm[Black], 
  PovertyColor[CountryData[c, "PovertyFraction"]], 
  CountryData[c, "SchematicPolygon"]}

LiteracyPovertyPrimitives[c_] := {PovertyFractionPolygon[c], 
   Reverse[CountryData[c, "CenterCoordinates"]], Center, 
   ImageScaled[{0.06, 0.06}]]}

Graphics[Table[LiteracyPovertyPrimitives[c], {c, CountryData[]}], 
 PlotRange -> {{-180, 180}, {-90, 90}}]

  LiteracyPovertyPrimitives[c], {c, CountryData["SouthAmerica"]}]]

posted by hAndrew at 7:26 PM on September 29, 2010

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