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UN Makes Its Statistical Data Free and Searchable

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the can't-argue-with-free dept.

Databases 79

NorseWolf writes "Since its foundation, the United Nations system has been collecting statistical information from member states on a variety of topics. The information thus collected constitutes a considerable information asset of the organization. However, these statistical data are often stored in proprietary databases, each with unique dissemination and access policies. As a result, users are often unaware of the full array of statistical information that the UN system has in its data libraries. The current arrangement also means that users are required to move from one database to another to access different types of information. UNdata addresses this problem by datapooling major UN databases and those of several other international organizations into one single Internet environment. The innovative design allows a user to access a large number of UN databases either by browsing the data series or through a keyword search."

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79 comments

YERRSS!!! (4, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22646956)

*does victory dance*

I love that things like this happen. Free, open and searchable - Bill Gates must be turning in his... Oh, wait...

YERRSS!!!-Cavities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22646990)

"I love that things like this happen. Free, open and searchable"

Sounds like every geeks wet dream.

Re:YERRSS!!! (5, Funny)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647022)

Turning in his deckchair on his billion dollar yaught?
Turning in his feather soft mattress on his million dollar gold plated four poster bed?
Turning in his 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe?
Turning in his 1999 Porsche 911 Convertible??
Turning in his wife to the authorities???

The suspense is killing me!!

Re:YERRSS!!! (4, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647116)

...turning in his Vista laptop for a Dell/Ubuntu offering.

TADAAAAAAHHH! *drrrrummmrrroolllll*

Re:YERRSS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647084)

Except the clowns are running in on IIS...

Re:YERRSS!!! (1)

Mark3eb (1251132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647100)

I am also doing my victory dance. It's about time!

Re:YERRSS!!! (2, Informative)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647128)

I'm not really sure how he's turning in his whatever since UNData is written in ASP.Net 2 powered by Windows 2003. He's probably laughing all the way to bank though.

Re:YERRSS!!! (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647696)

It may of been written in asp.net but whoever modified thier scrollbars to act the way they do should have thier hands removed with a dull spoon just to make sure they never do a web page ever again.

Re:YERRSS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22653388)

may HAVE been ... not "may of been"

Re:YERRSS!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647224)

I wonder how the Americans are planning on undermining this UN initiative ?

Re:YERRSS!!! (1, Offtopic)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647718)

I wonder how the Americans are planning on undermining this UN initiative ?

Typically it's the other way around. Al Baradei has been far more interested in showing he can stand up to the UN than in actually finding nuclear development like in say Libya or Syria. I'm not even going to mention Iran because since the US has backed off the EU realizes that they better stop whining to the US and start acting like they have a hide to preserve.

Re:YERRSS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22649812)

All data and metadata provided on UNdata's website are available free of charge and may be copied freely, duplicated and further distributed provided that they are not put up for sale or otherwise commercially exploited and that UNdata is cited as the reference.
Unusable in Wikipedia because Wikipedia can be republished. Unusable for analysis with commercial data so less chance of people benefiting from large business decisions ("Who needs clean water? We don't know. Sell it to suburbanites.").

Hmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22646958)

I just ran a Query. As it turns out, people DO prefer food or death. Thanks UN! *high fives*

Innovation? (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22646960)

Not to knock this applaudable achievement, but what exactly makes this solution innovative? Or has the meaning of this word simply been diluted more than I thought.

That aside, interesting project

Re:Innovation? (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647002)

Innovative? Well, to get multiple departments, countries, people to agree on a single thing is amazing if not innovative. To get them to agree on a database, and data formats as well? I've not seen to much of that in the world of governments or big business. Perhaps there was some innovation going on there? It may well have been just innovation in how to politically leverage a size 10 shoe into a size 2 ass, but it does sound like they have done something different. :)

Re:Innovation? (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647400)

I don't think they are in as much agreement as you might think. The UN requires individual countries to record their own data and sets guidelines but doesn't expect a country to duplicate efforts if they are already collecting similar data.

What this will lead to is information that is useful withing a well defined set of parameters but on the whole can't be directly compared between countries. Crime rates and infant mortality are a couple of prime examples on how reporting differences can change the entire outlook on things. So at least keep that in mind when looking at it.

Re:Innovation? (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647670)

Pretty much true, It's just a pity that I had to wait most of my life for the UN to do it instead of my own gov't (USA). FWIW now that I'm getting a tad older, I'm enjoying the health and nutrition info.

Re:Innovation? (5, Insightful)

baboonlogic (989195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647016)

This kind [un.org] of statistics that I can actually link to while making a point... That's about as innovative in my book as wikipedia was. This will forever change how geeks discuss things.

Re:Innovation? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647074)

Those emissions of China and India in 2004 at a lot relatively lower than I expected.

Re:Innovation? (1)

LakeSolon (699033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647540)

Those emissions of China and India in 2004 at a lot relatively lower than I expected.
China:

4 in 2004
2 in 1994
1 in 1981

Lower, but roughly doubling each decade and accelerating.

Re:Innovation? (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647576)

That's because China has 5 times the population as we do or more. Here is one on usage without the per capita BS. [un.org] Something else to remember, the data stops at 2004 for some reason. A lot has been going on in 4 years. I doubt any of those numbers are close to accurate today.

Personally, I'm not sure why the per capita really comes into play without population density.But either way, the problem is supposedly Co2 not Co2 per person. Take a look at Australia when I add it to the ops chart. [un.org] Notice how AU is listed at 15 or so and produces less Co2 then the UK as to the previous chart. Well hell, even India is misleading. It is the lowest with 1 on the per capita chart and they produce more Co2 then the UK and AU put together.

Now I am going to suggest something that most people want to ignore, look at the countries on the lists with a low per capita rating and think about the standard of living compared to the higher ones. And I don't mean how rich people charter choppers to goto their kids little league softball game. I mean the person at the poverty line who has a car, TV, cell phone, Air conditioning, Cable TV in some cases, compared to people living in those low emission per capita countries.

Re:Innovation? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22650362)

Now I am going to suggest something that most people want to ignore, look at the countries on the lists with a low per capita rating and think about the standard of living compared to the higher ones.
My first response when people bring up the "standard of living" argument is to say to myself "yeah so what. Who cares? What's the point of bringing this up?" Standard-of-living is a nice statistical tool for economists, but is too general and brings up Western (financial) market biases. Since SoL is based on goods and services consumed, it's inaccuracy at measuring quality of life is seen since it is based on Gross Domestic Product; for example spending on man-made disasters and natural disasters will create a higher Standard of Living for the US (i.e. spending on Iraq, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, federal prisons, etc). Note that Standard of Living does not measure (what I call the "happiness factor", and others call "quality of life" factors), but instead rather inaccurately measures wealth, as you glibly seem to undermine.

From Wikipedia: "The standard of living refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people, and the way these goods and services are distributed within a population." And Standard of Living is a per capita measure (as you called it "per capita BS"). For example, SoL does not take into account whether a person owns their means of production (like peasant farmers), or whether a person has to do monotonous work in a dark factory all day with supervisors and Bean Counters looking over their shoulder's so that they can afford to use a car to take them to work. I'm sure the SoL would be rather low for Quakers and Mennonites, but Quality of Life (the happiness factor again) would be higher. Living in "poverty" for some people is an ideal. Which brings up another point.

Poverty is also a highly political term, and has everything to do with comparative wealth, and not with the general wealth of a nation. A person living in poverty in the US is different from a person living in poverty in India. And a person living underneath the unofficial poverty line in Canada is different from that in the US and other countries. I remember at one time in Canada the politicians decreased it's unofficial poverty line because of lobbying from the business sector (ref: http://www.ccsd.ca/pr/lico00aj.htm [www.ccsd.ca] [Note that this article does not discuss the politics, just the statistical change used by Statistics Canada]).

Re:Innovation? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22651944)

Well, first, I was specific about the standard of living that revolves around the poverty line which is often defined by a percentage of the median income levels compared to the income distribution among the people (per capita). So for a comparison in this case, it is quite appropriate. The poor are much richer in the higher per capita countries. They not only seem to have more money, they also have more goods and possesions which you seem to think skews the comparisons. That fact is, that is the comparison I was attempting to make, so it is possible I just used the wrong terminology.

As for canada, You can compare the differences with America a lot easier then you can with China for example. Lets look at the per capita [un.org] with canada. You see, your about right when you say Canada has as high if not hirer SoL as the US. But when you look at the actual production, you will see they are slightly more then the UK's production. [un.org] You can say what you want but you proved my point.

I was going to put together another little calculation that showed that actual increase Co2 emissions withing a given country and how it parallels with population growth and standards of living withing a country. Unfortunately, I can't find my links that shows internal Sol within each country compared and the formula breaks down quickly when you compare India and China. However it seems accurate with Canada, the UK, AU, and US. adding the percentage of increased SoL to the percentage of population growth seems awfully close to the amount of Co2 increases since 1990 (non-per capita measurements).

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22652836)

One word for you, "sustainability". Every country must support its population, so if one country can do so with fewer emissions then good for them!

If the north american continent did not exist, the world would be ecologically better off and the impact on human population would be effectively nil (barring all the complications of trade and manufacturing, etc.).

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22648120)

per capita

Innovation?-Reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647078)

"This will forever change how geeks discuss things."

Geeks will start reading the articles then?

Re:Innovation? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647124)

Add a graphing tool that plots statistics over time and it will also be easy to point to collapsing fisheries, diminishing harvests, etc.

Re:Innovation? (4, Informative)

baboonlogic (989195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647184)

Like this [gapminder.org] ?

Gapminder [gapminder.org] is the tool. I hope they incorporate these fresh stats soon!

Re:Innovation? (2, Informative)

bangthegong (1190059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22649086)

Love the gapminder, figured someone would post that. If anyone is not familiar, this presentation from TED should shed some light on why this UN development is important.
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92 [ted.com]
I also encourage you to check out their podcast, just search "gapminder" on iTunes.

Re:Innovation? (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647306)

could you, please, tell how can one choose which data goes into rows, and which into columns ? :)
i'd like to see other stats in a layout similar to your link, but can't grasp that one.

Re:Innovation? (1)

baboonlogic (989195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647462)

Interesting! Some of these tables [un.org] have a "select pivot column" while others don't. Luckily the ones I first looked for turned out to be pivot-enabled!

Anyway, if there is a select pivot column above your chosen table, you can make the data of that column be used as a field.

I can't seem to find any pattern so far that tells us whether a particular table will be pivot-enabled or not. Anyone got that one figured out?

Re:Innovation? (1)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647752)

wow! looks really useful. And the facts are interesting as well. had no idea that china and india was realeasing so little (relatively)

Re:Innovation? (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22648250)

Re:Innovation? (1)

Roofus (15591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22648834)

Dude, look at the footnotes! The US figure includes American Samoa. That explains why our values are so high. Those Somoan fuckers eat, sleep and fart CO2.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22650466)

I heard they even exhale CO2.

Re:Innovation? (1)

thomas.craig (758619) | more than 6 years ago | (#22650376)

Here are a couple of talks/demos by Hans Rosling - who I think (but I could be wrong) was the developer of gapminder. Very interesting analyses of poverty and development based on the UN databases. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92 [ted.com] http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/140 [ted.com]

Goatse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647024)

Goatse [twofo.co.uk]

Re:Innovation? (2, Insightful)

OptimusPaul (940627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22648226)

I have to agree, there in nothing innovative about that database. Perhaps if they had described the techniques used to "convince" the maintainers of the various databases to combine the data then maybe we'd see some innovation. But even then I'm suspecting it's nothing that many IT departments of merging companies have not already thought of, or nothing that the CIA hasn't already dreamed up. I think the right word here is incredible or perhaps unbelievable.

You have no idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22648508)

I was just looking around for a comprehensive data service for my trading. I run a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_macro [wikipedia.org] trading book/strategy, which I hope to turn into my full time job. Running a trading operation/hedge fund on the cheap with good quality data without paying through your nose for Bloomberg and 10 other expensive data services is almost impossible! This is great for everyone and perfect timing for me! XML and CSV files for download and loading straight into my trading model programs - woohoo!

Libaration (3, Informative)

spatialguy (951355) | more than 6 years ago | (#22646966)

I wish that every organization and government would do this. It is a great tool for research. In the Netherlands "public" data is still regarded as property and our government charges us for this.

Re:Libaration (3, Informative)

Rashdot (845549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647180)

Translated from cbs.nl:

http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/cijfers/statline/default.htm [www.cbs.nl]

"StatLine is the free electronic database of the CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics). You can create your own tabels and graphs. The information is free and easy to print and download."

"StatLine is de elektronische databank van het CBS. U kunt in StatLine zelf tabellen en grafieken samenstellen.
De informatie is gratis en gemakkelijk te printen en te downloaden."

Re:Libaration (1)

vozome (1077533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22650720)

there's an enormous amount of free stuff on CBS though. as for the rest... it makes sense that only people who need it pay for it, instead of every taxpayer. there's no such thing as a free government service.

Maybe (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647026)

Data is worthless unless you know how it was collected.

Without such information, you cannot ascertain the accuracy of the data & you cannot compare it to any other data sets.

Where are the links to the source reports?

Funny you should say that (4, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647086)

I remember one of my professors mentioning that he was in the office of the president of some African country assisting them with "determining" the value of various financial (and other) metrics for large, unnamed NGOs like the UN.

For most countries, statistical information is really wishful thinking. If you can't control your borders, tax your citizens effectively, or provide infrastructure, you can't collect accurate statistics. Indeed, even for developed countries statistics may be suspect, especially trade data.

However, as people like to say, even bad data is better than no data.

Re:Funny you should say that (4, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647174)

However, as people like to say, even bad data is better than no data.


Whoever says that deserves the bad policy they get that was based on that bad data. You can never achieve 100% accuracy but it is a goal that still should be attempted. To accept otherwise is not only foolish but also dangerous. It leads to such stupidity as the US is currently experiencing with global warming and evolution. Screwing up the data bad enough gives the opposition to proper policy the ammunition to call "junk science" on that policy. So no, it isn't better to have bad data over no data.

Bad data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22648090)

Try searching for 'weapons of mass destruction' [un.org] ... and then try and tell me the data's bad!
And here's another example [un.org] ...

Re:Funny you should say that (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647320)

However, as people like to say, even bad data is better than no data.

It depends how bad (inaccurate) the data is. For instance, I'd rather have no data on violent crime in a particular area then inaccurate data if I was deciding to buy a house there.

Re:Funny you should say that (2, Insightful)

fondacio (835785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647476)

large, unnamed NGOs like the UN
Sorry to nitpick, but the UN is not an NGO. "NGO" stands for non-governmental organizations and examples of NGOs are Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, Cordaid, the International Red Cross etc., which operate independently from governments. The UN is very much a governmental organization, since it is composed of member states represented by their governments - in some circles they refer to these kinds of organizations (UN, NATO, EU, OSCE, OAS, ASEAN) as IGOs or international governmental organizations.

However, as people like to say, even bad data is better than no data.
As some of the previous posters have said, no data may be preferable to bad data in many cases as well. However, in the cases that you mentioned I think the bad data may also be interesting for a completely different analysis: to see how governments believe they have to manipulate their data to look as good as possible to IGOs and NGOs. When you study this, you can adjust practices, standards and supervisory mechanisms in those organisations to make it more difficult for unreliable governments to rig the system.

Re:Funny you should say that (1)

Eighty7 (1130057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647482)

However, as people like to say, even bad data is better than no data.
Only to the extent that you know how bad it is & are able to compensate.

Re:Funny you should say that (1)

vozome (1077533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22650892)

computing the GDP of the larger developed nations is a very large calculation which requires a lot of guessing... take for instance variables like the size of the underground economy (which is included in GDP). funny how these numbers are then treated as an absolute truth. for a large set of countries (like, all the un countries) you cannot have comparable data. even with standards like the system of national accounts which theoretically defines how you compute macro aggregates, there are always variations - the US being one of the countries interpreting the SNA rules the most liberally. the only thing you can hope to get are time series for one single countries consistent over time.

Re:Funny you should say that (1)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22659576)

However, as people like to say, even bad data is better than no data.
Given no data, people will hopefully acknowledge the fact and tread cautiously. Bad data gives one false confidence and leads to disastrous outcomes.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647088)

But source reports are worthless unless you know how they were reported.

Where are the links to the source reports reports?

Re:Maybe (4, Informative)

kmarshallbanana (1192023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647092)

Its there for anyone who cares to look, eg. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods.htm [un.org]

MOD parent up. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647142)

Touche!

Re:Maybe (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647094)

Fair point. Good question. But before tossing the relevance of the data away, I think one should consider that yours is a high standard to which most data collection made public may not meet -- the CIA (of the USA) publishes a lot of data on their website, but I don't think I've seen links to the documentation on how the data was collected. Still, having that information would be superb.

Re:Maybe (5, Informative)

216pi (461752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647130)

If you really would have been interested in the source, you would have seen the BIG BOX below the data that says 'SOURCE' with a short description and a link ORIGINAL DATA that links to the organisation that provided the data. and after 2 minutes of browsing, I found this: http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/SeriesDetail.aspx?srid=749 [un.org] where you can find information how the data was collected.

stop whining, start looking. thanks.

Re:Maybe (1, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647452)

Obb: You must be new here.

Even sourced: beware of BS (1)

natmakarvitch (645080) | more than 6 years ago | (#22648294)

Sourcing if of paramount importance. Some UN agencies, for example, spread pure BS [makarevitch.org]

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22650776)

God damn it. The word 'data' is plural.

"Data are worthless unless you know how they were collected."

I shudder every time I hear a singular verb used with 'data'. Ugh, how can you people speak and write like that? Where did you go to school?

Hans Rosling must be a happy man! (1)

baboonlogic (989195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647032)

He asked for this [ted.com] and it's finally here!

Re:Hans Rosling must be a happy man! (1)

miruku (642921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647442)

i'm wondering how long it'll be until we see this data integrated with gapminder [gapminder.org] . either that, or a gapminder-esq interface on the UNdata site.

Invalid column name 'eValue'. (1)

hsdpa (1049926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647036)

When searching and trying to sort by a column that isn't there, you get an error message.
In my case, while searching for greenhouse gasses in the world and sorting by -value-, i got this result:

Invalid column name 'eValue'. at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection)
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlInternalConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection)
at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.ThrowExceptionAndWarning(TdsParserStateObject stateObj)
at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.Run(RunBehavior runBehavior, SqlCommand cmdHandler, SqlDataReader dataStream, BulkCopySimpleResultSet bulkCopyHandler, TdsParserStateObject stateObj)
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.HasMoreRows()
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.ReadInternal(Boolean setTimeout)
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.NextResult()
at Unsd.Drs.Components.Services.DataMartService.LoadData(IDataReader reader, QueryRequest request, Boolean getMetadata) in C:\Development\Unsd\DRS\deploy\Data Retrieval System\Components.Web\Services\DataMartService.cs:line 144
at Unsd.Drs.Components.Services.DataMartService.GetData(QueryRequest request, Boolean getMetadata) in C:\Development\Unsd\DRS\deploy\Data Retrieval System\Components.Web\Services\DataMartService.cs:line 105
at Unsd.Drs.Web.Handlers.DataHandler.Query(QueryRequest request)
at Unsd.Drs.Web.Handlers.DataHandler.Query()
at Unsd.Drs.Web.Handlers.AbstractFilteredDataHandler.ServiceRequest()
at Unsd.Drs.Web.Handlers.DataHandler.ServiceRequest()
at Unsd.Drs.Web.Handlers.AbstractFilteredDataHandler.ProcessRequest()
at Unsd.Drs.Web.Handlers.AbstractHttpHandler.ProcessRequest(HttpContext context)
Fun!

CmdrTaco the Hot Bottom ESCORT Dude! - m4m -29 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647044)

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Re:CmdrTaco the Hot Bottom ESCORT Dude! - m4m -29 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647338)

How much for Cowboy Neal with the irrational waist size and gravitational force?

Drugs (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647050)

So now we can see how much money it spends trying to force its futile prohibitionist American-style anti-drugs policy on the world?

Example query (1)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647068)

select * from countries where cameras == 0 and wiretaps == 0 and privacy > 'NONEXISTING';

No records found.


Maybe, just maybe, in an alternate reality, this might have been useful.

What about all the others? (2, Insightful)

kmarshallbanana (1192023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647110)

Now if only they will be followed in this by the World Bank, IMF, OECD... Not to mention all those national level organisations.

Great project, pity about the name (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647166)

A laudable project indeed. However everytime I look at that "UNdata" project name, I can't help but think of it as a data source for Uncyclopedia [uncyclopedia.org] .

Re:Great project, pity about the name (1)

Cokeisbomb (1001675) | more than 6 years ago | (#22648176)

Agreed! I assume most of the data in Un-data is from Oscar Wilde himself. I can't believe they called this "un-data". Then again - about to the NGO/IGO discussion above - this must be a govermental organzation - only an oversized committee could have the cajones to come up with a name like that.

Regressions on endemic surveilance states (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647196)

Part of my project as a DC think tank statistician has been to to normalize, scale, and run regressions on the relationship between the level of surveillance in developed counties and mental health statistics such suicide rates. The data show an interesting trend. [doiop.com] IMO it is safe to say that the American Dream died in th 1950s.

no comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647210)

Comment

Public submission (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647468)

All very good, but in the true spirit of the idea, anyone should be able to submit data. The site could rank data by 'authoritiveness', but in many cases it's better to have slightly questionable data than none at all (especially if it matches up with other questionable data).

For example, in the energy usage section I might want to create metadata to see which energy type has grown the quickest etc.

If you like this sort of stuff... (1)

QJimbo (779370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647862)

Go to http://www.nationmaster.com/ [nationmaster.com] . I use it often to convince people about the problems we have in the UK =p

UN Food Agriculture Organization Charges $$$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22648056)

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization has the missions of "helping to build a world without hunger": that is their motto. So imagine my surprise when I needed some stats for a paper but they wanted me to join as a GOLD MEMBER ($15K) or a SILVER MEMBER ($1.5K) or instead suffer restricted public access: http://faostat.fao.org/site/372/default.aspx [fao.org]

Personally I think it's pretty disgusting an organization claiming they are "helping to build a world without hunger" charge so much for data. I suspect that money is being used to build Dascha or pay for convention junkets to tropical island resorts, rather than being turned into third-world aid. The UN receives $$$ in member donations. They should not be trying to scam money off the people it supposedly represents.

Same with their reports. e.g. Their World Drug Reports make all sorts of claims complied from statistical data BUT DOESN'T BACK THEM UP, and you CANNOT get the raw data to verify what they are saying: http://www.unodc.org/ [unodc.org]

UN needs to lift its game.

Where can we find the stats on.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22648942)

Where can we find the stats one how much money was stolen under the Oil For Food Program?

Just wondering...

(Oops..this will get modded down..)

One DB to rule them all!!!!! (1)

Pepebuho (167300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22649220)

Yes!!!!!

Gapminder (1)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22649290)

I think that Gapminder [gapminder.org] /Google it is really happy with this decision? I wonder how much they lobbied for this?

figures... (1)

drnkjunglist (1251578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22658038)

Attention! We did not find any results for: Iraq Nuclear Weapons. Please try the suggestions below to help refine your search. Suggestions: * Try more general keywords. * Try fewer keywords. * Make sure all words are spelled correctly. * Try different keywords.
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