web 2.0 for development

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Gapminder sw

I found this very interesting application, Gapminder, to show dynamic data evolution in time and in comparison with other data. I have already seen it in action in a quite famous video of Professor Hans Rosling speaking at the TED-conferance 2006 about “Myths on Developing World“.

Some more notes about it: Google, always them, acquired the software few months ago and will add it to their free sw package pretty soon. Let’s reflect on this approach.

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Distributing software for free helps doing that. Google will redistribute it for free as it is doing with other tools like Picasa, Analytics, Google Earth, etc. This can be considered good or bad, according to the point of view.

At the moment my judgement is positive: having this software for free means that we can transfer knowledge and capacities in an easier and faster way. Obviously there a price to pay. It is not visible, and not quantifiable, but there is: our data will be known, analysed and used by someone. At this point of the reasoning, the question is still open: I can considered myself “supported” or “spied” according to pros being more or less of counts. I have not yet formulated my idea as, until now, I’ve seen only the first and not yet the second…