Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fun with Google’s Public Data

I was going to do a post about our world’s exploding population growth and stumbled upon Google’s awesome public data service with my first research query:

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I haven’t been able to uncover an index for what types of things you can show here but a little searching will get you other things.

Anyway, so this is what I was looking for initially (data source):

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And since the last 200 years:

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Clearly my source data could be more complete. Even with the gaps, though, the exploding trend is obvious. It comes with this neat, mind-blowing factoid, too:

The total number of humans that have ever lived has been estimated at 110 billion.
Approximately 6% of all those people are alive today.

Wow. With the modern improvements to life expectancy and high rate of population growth (10-15 years per billion), it might be a while before this 6% figure stabilizes (i.e. stops growing).

I’m not suggesting that this is a bad thing—not at all. I just find it interesting.