"Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all." Charles Babbage
Data used for Worldmapper: Introduction
It is important to note that all of the datasets that are used for the Worldmapper project contains estimates, approximations and inaccuracies.
Each map requires us to assign figures to all our 200 territories. The process involves firstly sourcing a reliable data source (well-used data sources are detailed in the Data Sources page.) Data from these sources may be estimates, often gathered by a UN agency, and not necessarily the official data for each country. The datasets rarely cover all our 200 territories and therefore we have to assign data to territories that are missing. For some datasets, we make a judgement that an absence of data may indicate that the value for missing territories is zero, or close to zero. More often, we have produced an estimate from values for other territories in the same region. This is one reason why we divided the world into 12 regions. The technical notes say what we have done with individual data sets.
Individual Map Data files
When you choose a map to view, there are links at the bottom to download a data file giving the values used for all 200 territories, a graph (usually a cumulative frequency one) of the data, and a top 10 or 20 table (and the original data used, and its source).
Larger Underlying Data Files
These four files show our calculations on the source data used on many of the maps. Please note that newer data is available from the original source of the data; we offer these here so that if you are interested, you can follow our workings. Please note that they are large files, and contain many calculations, so will take a while to open.
The data source is detailed in the data files that are available from each map page (see above), and in the technical notes, also available from a link at the bottom of each map page. There is a separate data sources page giving details of the websites where much of the data has been obtained from.
Mapping counts or rates?
We receive many queries about why we map absolute numbers, rather than rates. We have created a Question and Answer page on this subject, link below.