Saturday 5 March 2011

Google Fusion Tables for Current Affairs

[Update: I noted on many of my Google Fusion Table posts that, while the data are still on Google Drive for you to view, GFT no longer offers a polygon or heatmap option, only geocoding by country centroid in its new version. Not sure why, but on this, thisthis, and another  example posted as Iframes not Scripts preserved the old GFT maps.]

Wolfram Alpha is a search tool that does statistical as well as word searches. This is powerful indeed as it allows to query across diciplines, subjects and techniques. I live in Kuwait now, and the current events made me curious about the distribution of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Having already used Google Docs and Fusion Tables here and here, I performed the following:

  1. query of Religions by Country
    - WA returned percentages from China to Hungary
    - I transcribed most common religions to spreadhseet
  2. query of Population by Country
    - the returned list shows (1) is for Population > 10M
  3. (population)*(percent) to get Religion Population
    - posted screenshot and spreadsheet on Google Docs
    - mapped it using Google Fusion Tables the following:
Religions by percentage, for example for Islam:

World population for all countries over 10 million:

Religions population by country also for Islam:

See above how the impact of Islam, high in percentage from North Africa to Indonesia, is muted or even displaced when factored by population and area - if Pakistan came as no surprise India did to me - what surprised me most, however, was the very low percentage and population for Judaism (assuming the reported numbers are correct of course, for example the percentages for China don't add up to 100 and leave 'other' at almost 50%!).

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