Global Data Visualization Platform Nabs Top World Bank Prize

Adam DuVander
Apr. 14 2011, 11:30AM EDT

You can visualize nearly every indicator of economic, social and human development on StatPlanet World Bank, the winner of World Bank's ambitious developer contest launched last October challenging new uses of the World Bank API. After voting from distinguished judges and the public, the organization announced the top three apps at an event in Washington, D.C., this afternoon.

StatPlanet World Bank

StatPlanet is already a platform used by non-profits and other groups to map and visualize data. Its creator Frank van Cappelle said the application is aimed toward "evidence-based decision making." For the World Bank contest, van Cappelle connected his platform to World Bank's API. Where one of the challenges with World Bank's data is how much of it there is, StatPlanet does a great job of helping users zero in on and visualize what interests them.

Second place winner Development Timelines, built with the Google App Engine API, puts the data in a purely historical context. Yourtopia, the third place winner, uses a quiz to help display the data in a way that brings what's important to the current user up to the top.

"We see enormous potential in crowdsourcing solutions to persistent development problems," World Bank's Aleem Walji said. "We are especially excited when our data can be used as raw material to spark creativity and innovation."

Indeed, there were many great contributions from developers all over the world. You can browse the more than 100 apps at World Bank's site.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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