Using animated statistics to enrich 3D data visualization in an explainer video on population growth, income, and CO2 emissions

The Client

Federal Statistical Office







The Challenge

Hans Rosling's famous video from 2010 combines enormous quantities of public data. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world is different from the world most of us imagine. Through the initiative of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, we were invited in collaboration with a video production company to produce a further development of the concept.

The Outcome

For the visualization, which combines 150 years of data on income and life expectancy across more than 150 countries by continent, we added a CO2 per capita data dimension. We addressed the task of managing numerous data points, each moving along a vector path in 3D space, by developing custom Python code and integrating it into Blender. The result is an animated 3D video layer.

The Impact

This showcase demonstrates the enormous potential of storytelling with statistics. They can also be fun, entertaining, and memorable. The video was very well received by the statistical community and was first presented at the Unlocking the Power of Data launching Event in Geneva, where Alain Berset, the President of Switzerland, also participated.

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