Open source

World Bank releases its data to the public

The World Bank releases a new website that exposes its huge collection of data. The institution tracks over 300 indicators such as CO2 emissions, life expectancy at birth, unemployment rate and many more. Instead of providing boring tables and downloadable excel spreadsheets, the agency creates beautiful charts and maps to display its data. I think the website is gorgeous and works way better than the confusing recovery.gov. Sorry Mr. Tufte.

World Bank President Zoellick talks about the initiative:

Today we are opening up one of the world’s most reliable and comprehensive databases on developing economies. It includes more than 2,000 indicators from countries around the world, including hundreds that go back 50 years.

You can also watch his speech about the project

World Bank’s Open Data Initiative from World Bank on Vimeo.

Besides the beautiful website, The agency also let you play with the data using its API. I haven’t had a chance to do that yet, but it looks promising.