New Media Worldometers Can Make Data “Click” For Kids

world-computer-graphic.jpgWhen my tween says, “Forward that to me, will ya mom?” I know I’ve landed on a site that’s caught her eye, so if this real-time data tracking techno tool is ancient news for you on the ‘forward to a friend’ circuit, bear with me.

Worldometers come in a variety of forms and factoids, clicking off rapid fire statistics from teen pregnancies, health info and tobacco and alcohol consumption, to year to date microdata like dollars spent on weight loss in the USA juxtaposed with people going hungry right this minute.

Not sure where this Javascript-driven progression of ‘guesstimates’ started in terms of initial input data (other than census/demographics) but eyeballing it with some science types, it’s pretty accurate and informative, as this BBC article echoes here.

Energy and oil consumption; auto and bicycle production…the site gauges off your own computer clock so you can reset your system time to say 2040 and go Back to the Future in a time travel moment to project how life might be when YOUR children are adults.

Kids often find the “Houston, we’ve got a problem” obviousness a quick jolt to help reverse trends fast, using media and marketing power of events like Live Earth to do it! Seeing the impact of consumerism, waste, and the need for sustainability solutions can instantly ‘click’ with kids far beyond any ol’ classroom text or pointer stick lecture.

The digital data’s as mesmerizing as the Twitter universe I wrote about…and a canary in the coal mine to prompt universal action. Youth keep amazing me by tweaking social media tools into useful forms like MultiMap Twitter Bot which shifts Twitter from observation into integration in a nanosecond!

Those eyeball popping moments when children SEE the vastness of some of the eco-issues and planetary scope by watching that spinning odometer counting data down to the millisecond is disarming.

It’s not all depressing data, honest! Click here for pbs stories of hope about ecosystem corrections throughout the globe!

Worldometers are not an exact science, but faster than you can snap your fingers, the birth/death rate scrolls in media milliseconds to make population points with ease.

Handy for “responsibility” chats of all kinds…

It adds real time relevance and ‘aha’ moments to parental yakking…

Whether adopting a critter at the shelter, eating lighter on the food chain or explaining how actuary tables have changed w/109 year-old Aunt Gladys in the nursing home…this baby motivates us all to understand AND take action!

Nothing quite like seeing real world info streaming in via digital applications. Media’s capable of shocking us out of complacency to inspire worldwide change.

We’ve seen the power of media’s up-close-and-personal war reporting, satellite devastation of a weather torn region, and genocide prevention by policing civilian atrocities in global hot spots like Darfur, using satellite cameras in Google Earth style.

The Digital Earth symposium showcased all kinds of eco innovations and sustainability concepts, including mapping life using geospatial tools to save biodiversity.

Seeing real time actions spark change can give kids a “one world” view of hope and promise, conveyed in a simple visual manner that ‘sticks’ with children.

Conversely, it can be scary, I suppose.

I remember taking our eco team to the traveling Smithsonian Earth 2U exhibit which had an interactive lightboard that kids could push showing population of the continents in the past, present, and future.

Much like the Worldometer, it started with very few lights, accelerating as the years clicked off and time went by, covering the map with escalating light dots and future projections, which many kids likened to a video game.

One boy turned to me and said, “So what happens when all the lights are on and there’s no more map left?”

Another chimed in, “Game over, dude.”

When I see pbs mainstream media programs airing on everything from sealife to hotzones, and look at orgs like One World Youth Project uniting countries for sustainable cultural exchange, I echo the positive faith of this unknown author:

I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”

Bonus Widgets of Wonder & Media That Delights:

Information Aesthetics This site will tweak your perspectives on every visual media mapping morph you’d imagine, from data visualization and music search to eco glow pollution using LED displays…It’s amazing. Their latest media magic? Search Crystals. A new interactive search visualization tool that enables users to compare the search results from web, image, video, blog, tagging, news engines or RSS feeds sources. People can embed it as a fully interactive widget on websites or blogs to share personalized “crystals” (overlapping results from different search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN) in social media style. Wild.

Journey to Planet Earth hosted by Matt Damon, a multi-media voyage of discovery about the planet we inhabit; it’s like watching Worldometer stats come alive through video; complete with educational resources and eco-site tie-ins.

Earth From Space Online exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Institution, showing our planet from an orbiting satellite (coming on tour to a city near you?)

And from my Digital Earth/Next Now collaboratory pals:

Photosynth Demo – (TED – May, 2007)

“Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (such as Notre Dame cathedral) scraped from around the Web, this short video demonstrates Photosynth (based on Seadragon) technology to create multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation. It permits a composite visual image of something to be assembled by creating what are essentially content-based hyperlinks between all the images of the item (person/place/thing) available throughout the internet.”

More jaw-dropping one world media coolness:

Hubble’s “Image Tours” showing you Hubble pictures through an astronomer’s eyes, pinpointing and explaining key features. “Point and click through these interactive images to add understanding to the joy of cosmic sightseeing. Take an armchair tour of the Tadpole Gallaxy, the Helix Nebula, the Eagle Nebula and six others; the beauty of the universe is astonishing.”

Enjoy! Stay tuned for related items on “green travel” for summer sojourns, “kids site science picks,” nature nourishment, and summer amusement parks (from junk food/consumerism to cool physics and wild sponsorships, there’s fun media deconstruction for everyone!)

Graphic Visual Credit: ERED: Environmental Residue-Effects Database

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Residue-Effects Database (ERED) is a compilation of data, taken from the literature, where biological effects (e.g., reduced survival, growth, etc.) and tissue contaminant concentrations were simultaneously measured in the same organism.



  1. Hello Jussel,
    I write about Worldometers in my blog. (in Persian Language, Farsi)

    Sinac’s last blog post..میز قهوه آکواریومی

  2. Is a very interesting web site
    Congratulations to recommend

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