Archive for category Gapminder

Gapminder and Excel

The amount of data and the number of different ways you can display it on gapminder was impressive.  It was very interesting to see all the correlations.  The excel predictions was also interesting.  I would love to see how our predictions compare with a more complicated mathematical model.

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Mendeley, and GapMinder

Probably the most interesting and useful things (to me) explored on Day 1 of the workshop were Gapminder and Mendeley.

Mendeley is something I really need to help organize my research. I was saving papers in random folders on my drive with a system that made sense at one time, at least until it very messy. Mendeley allows tagging and exploring similar papers and generally much better organization. We also explored GapMinder. This appears to be a very fun and useful tool for data visualization. I appreciate how it allows one to interact with the data and explore relationships.

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Thomas Lane (Bioquest day 1)

The bulk of the first day regarded becoming aquatinted with tools thought to be commonly (or should) be used by scientists.  Such as: a way to organize resources (Mendeley), a way to quickly share indexed information (Diigo, although more like a glorified bookmarking system) and the basics of readers (such as Google Reader).  The most useful tool out of this set was Mendeley, the other two are really more of a personal preference of how one organizes information, perhaps unnecessarily adding layers of complexity.

The second portion of the Bioquest presentation regarding mathematical modeling was by far more applicable.  Gapminder is a useful tool that is very easy to jump into and start using (the applications are apparent).  The actual step by step process of modeling cancer in a specific case was insightful.  For experimentalists this offers a sort of step toward how computationalists approach questions/hypotheses, which seems like the major aim of this workshop.

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Gapminder & Excel

Yesterday afternoon the workshop for Gapminder was very interesting. I personally enjoy looking at how things influence each other. Having so much data from so many countries is for lack of better word “awesome”. I would like to use gapminder to look at other correlations between different demographics.

Also, I was under the impression that I knew how to use excel. I learned yesterday that I still need to journey through the program because there is a lot more applications and uses for the program than I thought.

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Bioquest Day 1

Honestly, the gapminder website was really cool. Being able to change axes on the fly and see different socioeconomic trends and life history data is pretty cool to look at. Visualization makes a huge difference. Unfortunately I was not there for the afternoon activity, but I plan on trying it at a later date on my own.

Big thanks to Sam, Gretchen and all the PEER/SCALE-IT coordinators. The workshop has been very informative so far.

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Bioquest Day 1

I really liked the visual representation of graphs in gapminder, however I wish it was easier to use for personal research.  I will be checking out the google version for my personal research.  I also was very interested in Mendeley but when I downloaded my papers into Mendeley it quickly reached capacity for personal papers.  I also didn’t see an option where I could automatically enter citations and have mendeley correct their order in the bibliography, which is something that endnote will do.

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Caroline Gapminder

Gapminder Activity

Gapminder is a tool to produce visually appealing, dynamic graphs that are capable of displaying multiple data sets in a comprehensive manner. This holds potential for use on population studies at the global level to monitor multiple variables over time.   It would be useful to be able to modify the world map to more specific localities for localized population studies.

Our activity today centered around the use of Gapminder to monitor different global population trends of cancer with respect to income over time. We went to


and tinkered with changing axis variables and watching the changes over time by going to:

  • Health<Cancer, lung < lung cancer, new cases for every 100,000 women

And comparing to every 100, ooo men for lung cancer, liver cancer, and colon & rectum cancers.

Looking at the graphs, we noted some of the variable visualizations. Countries are represented as dots that vary in diameter based on population and in color based on which continent they belong to.

Moving from one cancer type and gender to the next, we noticed a few trends:

  • new cases of lung cancer appear to increase with increased income in both men and women, generally existing at higher rates in men
  • new cases liver cancer have little/no apparent correlation with increased income in either gender
  • new cases of colon & rectum can show an increase with increased income in both men and women

Since only the Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden, and Norway had significant data available from years prior to 2002, it is not possible to see global population trends over time. The trends that we do see likely have explanations in socio-economic factors specific to different populations. For example, while lung cancer shows a correlation with income, the most affluent countries do not necessarily have the most new lung cancer cases. This could be linked to the varying social statuses of smoking in different cultures as well as to other air quality factors, like the burning of coal for fuel in northern European countries.

Next, we toggled the lin (linear) and log (logarithmic) settings on both the x- and y-axes. Setting both axes to lin displays bunched data with few decipherable relationships. By forming a semi-log graph (one axis log and one axis lin), data is spread to reveal trends. It is even more widely spread with the use of a log graph (both axes log).

The secrets of Gapminder have been unlocked! This is a tool with the intriguing abilities  to hold many levels of data in a visually stimulating, dynamic way.  Enhanced by the use of changeable axes and movement over time in addition to country, continent, and population information, this program holds much potential for use with various population studies.


Day 1

Gapminder and Mendeley were interesting to learn about and potentially useful, and the math and excel refreshers were a good way to get my brain back in gear for the semester.   I’m not so sure about the other online tools though.  I don’t really see myself ever using them, and I also have privacy concerns about the social aspects.

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Bioquest Day 1

Gapminder is pretty cool but I  don’t see myself ever using it.Mendeley seems to be very useful but I will have a difficult time switching over from endnote. Also the social parts of all the things we did creeps me out. With privacy being such a scarce commodity these days I’m hesitant to make more things public.

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BioQuest Day 1

Today was a great way to jump into working with a computer, with technology expanding and basically taking over learning as we know it; I was extremely happy to have learned about RSS and all its capabilities. As for the second half of the day, that is my element so that was a blast, I enjoyed seeing all the ways one could use excel to analyze data. Gapminder a program we looked at is wonderfully well thought out. It was remarkable to be able to control so many parameters and details about the graph and get a comprehensive visualization. The movie capabilities and the fact that there were links to the raw data that could be imported into excel really blew my mind. I can definitely see myself using this tool and am glad I got the opportunity to play with it today.

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