Plot data on world maps with new OECD tools

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentTwo new online tools from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) now allow you to plot a huge array of social and economic data onto world maps and track them through time creating an animated chart as you follow your chosen geographic area against other areas. It’s easy to use and, more importantly, easy on the eye.

The first tool, the OECD Factbook eXplorer, allows you to display data (subject to availability) for countries from 1950 to 2006, or even beyond if forecast data is available.


A substantial amount of OECD global statistical information is ready to be used  including data in the following categories:

  • Population & migration
  • Macroeconomic trends
  • Economic globalisation
  • Price
  • Energy
  • Labour
  • Science & technology
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Public finance
  • Quality of life
  • Inequality

There is also the option to upload your own data.

The OECD has also introduced another complementary tool called OECD Regional Statistics which will map regional and sub-regional data by four categories:

  • Demographic: for example, population data
  • Economic: for example, GDP or productivity
  • Social: for example, crime and vehicle density
  • Innovation: for example, patent applications and R&D expenditure

The BBC’s Michael Blastland has also prepared a brief tour of the ‘Factbook eXplorer’ and ‘Regional Statistics’ tools, showing some of the basic applications and templates available. The examples Michael uses show the interesting relationship between fertility rates and female employment rates in a number of countries – as well as the levels of boredom across Europe!

Screenshot: map view in OECD Factbook Explorer with Spain selected

Screenshot from OECD Factbook Explorer: map view with Spain selected

View image at full size (JPG, 166kb)

Screenshot from OECD Factbook Explorer: scatter graph shows relationship between fertility and female employment rates in Spain in 2006

Screenshot from OECD Factbook Explorer: scatter graph shows relationship between fertility and female employment rates in Spain in 2006

View image at full size (JPG, 166kb)

Hopefully, this tool will enable the user to display spreadsheets of often difficult to digest data in an easy to understand format and, in combining data, new and potentially significant linkages can be made.

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