Our World in Data: Visualizations with a Conscience

We would like to introduce you to Our World in Data , an amazing online publication by Dr. Max Roser. This incredible project explores the development of human living conditions at a global scale. It offers datasets, visualizations, and presentations — for free. All journalists and educators have access to their work, which is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Made possible by the University of Oxford, Our World in Data covers a wide range of topics across a variety of academic disciplines including trends in health, income distribution, violence, energy use, food, and education.

As stated on the website, ‘Our World In Data is made available as a public good: The entire publication is freely available, the data published on the website is available for download, the visualizations published in the web publication are made available under a permissive Creative Commons license, and all the tools to publish Our World In Data and to create the visualizations are free to use by everyone.’

What Does Our World in Data Offer?

Since the website went online in June 2014 more than 1,000,000 people have visited OurWorldInData.org — but what does the website have to offer?

  • Entries — Ongoing collections of research and data by topic. Individual data entries deal with the different aspects of living standards. These entries are arranged into 16 categories located in the data section.
  • Data Visualizations — The data visualizations are a distinctive feature of Our World In Data and are often used in journalistic and academic articles, on social media and in school and university teaching.
  • Presentations — If you have the time to look through multiple visualizations, we suggest you explore their presentations section. Here you will find visual histories spanning multiple topics.
  • The ‘Grapher’ — The ‘Grapher’ is at the heart of this publication. It is the tool that allows them to store all data in an online database and then to visualize this data in line charts, maps, bar charts, scatter plots, area charts etc. The Grapher is completely open source.
  • Great Blog — The Our World in Data blog is full of in-depth stories regarding the state of the world. It is updated often, full of amazing visualizations, and shared regularly across all social media platforms. Check it out!

Mark Roser is passionate about Our World in Data, but funding can be hard to come by. If you’d like to make a contribution, click here or email max.roser@inet.ox.ac.uk.

If you’d like more free data sources, we suggest ’15 Great Free Data Sources for 2016.’