This page provides details of the methodology and content used to create Globe-Town. If you're new to Globe-Town, try starting with this Introduction to Globe-Town.

Methodology & considerations when using the data

Wherever possible we have tried to represent the data as straightforwardly as possible with minimal processing on our part. We suggest consulting the original source of any data that especially interests you, to gain access to the full meta-data and therefore understand any considerations or precautions when using it, as well as the licensing terms.

Indicators

The country indicators section can be found at the bottom of the main page. The careful labelling, sorting, colouring & imagery of the indicators are designed to maximise the clarity of where this country sits relative to others Categorisation is done by ranking them relative to all other countries with data in that same year. There are six categories, each of which includes a sixth of the countries (or 16.66 percentiles). The categories are named and ordered as follows: high, quite high, above average, below average, quite low, low. With this method, the categorisation is entirely relative and does not necessarily imply some "absolute" state of the indicator. A negative value for an indicator is likely to appear as "low" or "quite low". The categorisation can work less well when data is very sparse for that year. Similarly, when many countries share the same value such as zero. At present, all countries are counted equally regardless of large differences in size, which tends to emphasise the small tropical island states. We look forward to developing a more nuanced algoritm in the future, and are keen to hear suggestions of how it might be improved.

Wherever possible we have tried to represent the data as straightforwardly as possible with minimal processing on our part. However in order to give an indication of relative potential for deployment of wind & solar energy it was necessary to undertake our own GIS analysis of SWERA data of wind speeds & insolation sourced originally from NASA. The data is relatively low resolution & does not include offshore areas. We are not renewable energy engineers and do not claim that this data gives more than a very rough indication of relative wind or solar energy potential. Please consult the SWERA site for detailed country maps.

Figures are averages over a whole country and generally over a whole year, so potentially large variations within these ranges of time & space can be lost. We undertook considerable averaging on the predicted 2040-2060 temperature & precipitation data obtained from the World Bank site, originating from the 2007 IPCC report. The arithmetic mean was taken of the projected median increase across all models, for two scenarios (a2 & b1), across all months of the year and the two decade period in order to give just one figure for comparing countries. Please refer to the 2007 IPCC report or the World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal for the unaveraged data set, meta-data, scenario explanations and precautions when using this data.

Each indicator is represented by one of two images, high or low, depending upon whether the value for that country is above or below the median value.

Relationships

The relatiohships section is found at the top of the main page, where closely related countries are represented as houses. Only the first 25 partner countries are shown for each country as the Globe-Town concept is about getting to know your "near neighbours". Therefore the "long tail" of data is not presented. 25 are shown for both going in to the country (e.g. imports) and coming out of the country (e.g. exports).

Acknowledgements & attributions

Thanks to the World Bank for organizing the "Apps for Climate" competition, for having so fully embraced the open data principle, and for providing such a rich set of easily accessible data.

I would like to thank Dr Ilse Steyl for the GIS processing of the SWERA wind & solar energy potential data, and Prof Gail Taylor, Dr Jason Noble and Dr Emma Tompkins for their advice & support. I would also like the thank the staff of the Web Science Doctoral Training Centre, including Dr Les Carr, Prof Hugh Davis & Claire Wyatt. And thanks to the University of Southampton Electronic & Computer Science department for hosting the site.

Big thanks to the other team members for their impressive skills & commitment in putting together the software & video in such a small amount of time whilst juggling other commitments. Jack

Data Sources

Sources for the specific indicator & relationship data that you are viewing can be found at the bottom of the indicator panel, which can be accessed by clicking on the relevant indicator square at the bottom of the main screen. Almost all data can be obtained from the source by following the link. Please refer to the terms of the sources licensing before reusing the data.

Many thanks to the World Bank Data site & Databank from whom most data was sourced. Please note that most of this data originates outside the World Bank, and that original source is identified. The World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal also proved very useful in connecting with a range of climate change related sources. Trade data is sourced from either UNCTAD (via World Bank WITS), OECD or UN comtrade. UN comtrade data is included pending confirmation requested from UN Statistics Division. Thanks to opengeocode.org for country name to country code mappings.

Sound content used in video

Thanks to the authors of the following sound content, used in the Globe-Town video: London sounds; India street noise; flooding (a stream). All found thanks to freesound directory of Creative-Commons-licensed sound content

Music in video

We're very grateful for the video background track which is "See You Later" by Pitx. Found thanks to CCmixter, a directory of Creative-Commons-licensed music.

Images

Thanks to the photogaphers who have produced the images which we have used as thumbnails to represent the indicators. The specific source of each image can be found at the bottom of the indicator panel, which can be accessed by clicking on the relevant indicator square at the bottom of the main screen. Also thanks to Gang of Coconuts for their free flag images.

Liability & accuracy

No liability is assumed for any decisions taken on the basis of this application. The data originates from many places and the accuracy of any particular dataset cannot be guaranteed. We suggest consulting the original source of any data that especially interests you, to gain access to the full meta-data and therefore understand any considerations or precautions when using it, as well as the licensing terms. Please get in touch if you encounter any issues with the data.

Reuse

Screenshots of parts or all of the system may be used under the Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. The Globe-Town software is Copyright 2007 the Globe-Town team. The Globe-Town concept is by Jack Townsend. The "Welcome to Globe-Town" video is by Andrea Prieto.