Thursday, June 29, 2006

Human Development

As with the last few posts, I'm recently thinking about human development a lot and how technology could apply better to help it. One of the first things that comes to my mind is better dissemination and use of "poverty information".

Google, luckily, is also hosting sessions on Human Development, which is good, because only very little 'information' about poverty and human development is spread around.

A swedish organization, GapMinder, is spreading the statistics of Human Development in a really cool, interactive and visual way. No more boring statistics and numbers, it actually starts to feel like something. Of course, these statistics don't do anything, but I'm personally convinced that the lack of media attention to human development (since who wants to know about depressing facts?) contributes to how the world looks today.

I think and hope that a couple of projects will come up that will take this further by a couple of levels. I've personally thought at times to create a Google Maps app that shows the Human Development statistics, colored per country. An added benefit of GMaps is that it allows detailed information to pop up, where a server application can generate graphs and comparisons with other countries.

Maybe joining this information with the CIA World factbook provides some further new insights. (Note that this book is considered public domain, as it was created for the government).

So.... let's see what new things come up. A couple of NGO's and organizations are finally starting to recognize and understand the Internet better (they're not techies like everyone else, mostly care about social interaction). I'm thinking of going to the World Social Forum next year. Have been to Venezuela. It takes a while to let things sink down. Then you realize how little you know about social situations around the world.... And then what? (e daĆ­?)

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