At a recent meeting, one participant asked me what the level of television usage was in Ghana. I didn't have a good estimate at hand, but offered 'anecdotal' evidence suggesting that at least 60 percent of all urban households have access to TV. Moments like that make me look forward to the day when a great tool like Google Gapminder is not only commonplace, but also more comprehensive. In its current form, the Gapminder puts development indicators at your fingertips, and enables you to visualize them using a dynamic scatterplotting system where each bubble represents a country, as illustrated here
The position of each bubble is determined by the indicators on the axes. The size of the bubble represents the population of the country. The available indicators include: carbon dioxide emissions, child mortality, economic growth, internet users per 1000 people, military budget, phone users per 1000 people, urban population. The list is likely to expand as more data sources are added over the coming months. Gapfinder was originally developed with funding from the Swedish International Development co-operation Agency, Sida in collaboration with the United Nations Statistic Division. Their goal is to promote free access to searchable public data, and you can find various animations of different types of data here.