Possibly the most important trend in technology and the web is the emergence of tools that let us introspect about who we are as a people and the impact we’re having on the world around us. For example, the IHME has a very cool tool for visualizing Life Expectancy in the U.S. by County from 1989-2009. Locally we see …
Deschutes – Men: 73.2, Women: 78.8
Crook - Men: 72.1, Women: 79
Deschutes – Men: 76, Women: 80.6
Crook - Men: 73.9, Women: 79.7
Deschutes – Men: 78.7, Women: 81.7
Crook - Men: 76.1, Women: 80.9
One can’t help but speculate about the nature of the changes shown here. For example:
- Urban centers have the longest life expectancy
- The Bible Belt has the shortest life expectancy. (Cause or effect, that? )
- Life expectancy is much more varied across Oregon than it used to be 20 years ago.
- How much of the increase here in Deschutes is a result of a wealthier population (i.e. with access to better health care) immigrating here?
Visualizations like this – be they for life expectancy, meat consumption, national budgets, investment strategies, or police tactics – are “tale of the tape” for our society. We live in a unique time where we have unprecedented access to the tools necessary to analyze the world around us and act accordingly.
I.e. It’s an election year. Do your research.