Data visualization researchers at Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID) have unveiled The Globe of Economic Complexity – an interactive tool which colorfully captures $15 trillion in world trade data in cutting-edge 3-D visualizations.
Powered by the UN’s international trade data, the Globe uses “confetti” or dot-based representation to generate dynamic maps, stacked graphs and network diagrams. The Globe is a spin-off of The Atlas online, an interactive tool that takes users on a granular journey by not only visualizing trade, but by tracking changes over time and by helping users identify growth opportunities.
“The Globe allows users to see which parts of the world are still exporting agricultural commodities versus those that have moved onto machinery and more complex products, all in spectacular animation,” said Marcela Escobari, executive director of CID. “Innovations in visualizations like this one help us disseminate our research on how countries grow in an ever more accessible and powerful way.”
By navigating the Globe’s Geo Maps, users can jump into any country to view its range and volume of exports. The Globe also generates new points of view on the Product Space – a network of product similarities which details nearly 800 products into 15 color-coded industries – by vertically stacking products in 2-D representation or by using a novel 3-D layout.