Plan It - Chart The World With StatPlanet

There's some great stuff going on over at and where there are plenty of opportunities to win money and influence government. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being offered as prizes for the people who can find the best way to do a humanitarian air drop, or to develop nutritious school lunch programs, or to make local public information more readily available, or... Let's just say, there are plenty of opportunities for the innovative thinker - see for yourself.

One challenge that recently ended was the Apps for Development challenge, in which The World Bank invited participants "to create innovative apps using World Bank data." And they did - 107 submissions later, and we now have a winner!

Congratulations and kudos to Frank van Cappelle, of the University of Melbourne, for his app, StatPlanet. This is really worth a look. But only if you have time on your hands, because you are very likely to get yourself absorbed in it. This fully interactive app allows you to easily map, chart, and manipulate a huge chunk of The World Bank's data, utilizing more options than a liberal arts degree. If you have a point to prove about the global condition, chances are that you can do so here, export it, and show it to whoever it is you feel compelled to prove your point to.

Even if you don't have a point to prove, you can learn a lot in a short space of time with this app because, if a picture says a thousand words, then you have millions of words at your fingertips. Now you can speed read like never before!

Here's how it works: