China's inexorable rise in GDP and educational standards is well known and predictable. Rosling showed, through his startling use of infographics the extent that Chinese health and life expectancy was also improving markedly. As an indicator of how important Rosling's work is, he shared the platform with Bill Gates today at the LSE's conference on Global Poverty.
I've talked about Prof Rosling before, but I've not seen anyone more effectively turn data into knowledge. The data for Professor Rosling's brilliant infographics is drawn from a myriad of public datasets. He neatly presents these as information through the Gapminder.org graphical interface. You can play with and adapt using the Gapminder.org tools that he showcased on Newsnight.
The unique gift that Rosling has is to add a third dimension to the information to generate knowledge. That dimension is time. You can play, fast-forward or reverse a time sequence, showing how values and their intersections have changed over a number of years. Colour and relative size of plots are also varie over time. To a certain extent a static graph requires interpretation and analysis. Rosling's tool allows the viewer to experience change in a visual way that is immediately engaging. See him in action here:
Hans Rosling is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation.