Posts tagged stats

World Corn Production… Go Canada?


WOW! This has to be the best visualization tool for the world’s agricultural data which I’ve found to date.

Gapminder has done an incredible job here exposing some of the UN’s data and made it very easy to ‘fool around’ with.

Here is one of the animated graphs I’ve made:
CornHarvestedVisualization from Gapminder World, powered by Trendalyzer from

For each country it shows hectares of corn harvested, the yield (kg per hectare) and the total number of tons produced. Hit the “Play” button to see it change over time! Bubbles moving up it means the country harvested more hectares of corn, bubbles moving right means the country has improved overall yield.

There are three things that instantly struck me:

  1. Canada is not the agricultural powerhouse which I had perceived it to be. There are MANY countries which plant far more hectares of corn than we do! (The Philippines cover twice as much land as we do with corn crops — pretty incredible considering their size and how many other crops they grow like rice and oil palm [see image below: orange islands beside British Columbia for contrast])
  2. It really makes me wonder if GMO corn improves a nation’s overall yield. It is my understanding that France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Austria and several other countries have banned the cultivation of GMO corn. However, their annual yield is right up there with Canada’s. In fact, most of said countries SURPASS Canada’s annual yield.

  3. Annual yield jumps all over the place. While it does seem to trend slowly towards increased yield, the same happens for other nations who have more family farms and less access to technology.

Head on over to and make some charts of your own. It’s too easy… making a similar chart to the one above about strawberry production with a logarithmic scale.

Understanding America.


Wow. Here it is. Pages upon pages of high quality infographics for all of you voyeuristic Canadians! Poking our nose over the border to watch all those Yankees is somewhat of a national sport… Watching their newsfeeds, reading their magazines and following their gossip. I’m still not quite sure if it’s an attempt to figure them out or to fodder our distain. ;)

Although it’s a bit out of date, Richard Saul Wurman’s UNDERSTANDING paints an incredible picture of American statistics. Everything from population to war to the federal debt.

I strongly suggest you download & explore the flawless PDFs.

How to be an expert


After watching a few open stages and jazz gigs here in the city, I decided to start playing again. Thought my skills would be rusty and, well, after a few hours of practicing I decided that with a strict rehearsal regimen every second night and most weekends I can work my way up to “rusty skills” in a month… or two. :)So you can understand why I found the above chart pretty funny when I stumbled across it earlier this evening.

Most of us want to practice the things we’re already good at, and avoid the things we suck at. We stay average or intermediate amateurs forever.

Heh. Amateur. Read more about [Your] New Brain.

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