World Bank Google-Mapped
I have slowed down on blogging lately. It's not because there is nothing to write about anymore, but because things have been very busy for the past couple of months. One of the projects that has kept us entertained and excited at work went live yesterday.
geo.worldbank.org is a new, free web product of the World Bank that was masterminded by Pierre-Guillaume Wielezynski and created by yours truly using Google Maps API. It provides an intuitive, visual view of development information around the world.
You can safely claim that the majority of the Earth's population has heard about the World Bank. Most of them also know that the Bank finances development efforts all around the world. However, that is by far not the only thing the World Bank does. Having been at the center of poverty reduction efforts for decades, the World Bank has accumulated enormous amounts of development data. The World Bank is as much an information bank as it is a financial institution. By creating an easy, visual entry point into its data, the Bank attempts to make the information more accessible to the public and to further its transparency efforts.
Being an entry point, the map is much more light-weight than the underlying data-sets. Different tabs provide snapshot views of country news, World Bank projects, statistical data for countries, and the links to drill-down into more comprehensive portals. Where available, the addresses of the local, brick-and-mortar information centers are given too. Map is equally geared towards general audience and professional researchers.