Thursday, October 8, 2009

Visualize It! with the IMF Data Mapper

Need a visual display of the Gross Domestic Product for a few countries? IMF to the rescue! The IMF Data Mapper lets you visualize data from some of the IMF’s major sources, including World Economic Outlook, Balance of Payment Statistics, Government Finance Statistics, AFR Regional Economic Outlook, and Joint IMF-OECD Statistics. You can choose from around 80 different indicators, such as GDP, inflation rate or unemployment rate. You can display data for specific countries, regions, or analytical groups, such as the Euro area or emerging and developing economies.

The display includes a zoomable map of the world. If you hover over a particular country, you will see the indicator’s value for that country, and if you click on the map, the display will zoom in. It also provides a line and a bubble chart displaying data points over time. The data for selected indicators can be exported to an excel file or you can export the map and chart as picture files (in .png formats).

The help screen is limited, so you may need to play around with the options to get comfortable with it. Overall, it is a good free source for creating visual displays of international economic data. Take a look at the IMF Data Mapper.

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