Animated Charts and Gapminder

My colleague Barry Harmsen on the QlikFix blog recently published some cool QV animations. Barry is the kid who’s math homework I copied because I was too busy playing volleyball.

Barry’s post referenced the work of Hans Rosling and Hans Rosling is one of my data visualization heroes and I use Mr Rosling’s work as demonstration material when I teach Qlikview, particularly his widely viewed “Health and Wealth of Nations” time series animation.

Inevitably, after viewing “Health and Wealth of Nations” my students would ask “Can Qlikview do that?”. My answer used to be “I’m not sure”, but some time back I set out to recreate the same animation in QV. So the answer is now “yes”, but ironically, I haven’t had a student ask since I developed it. I have to wear an anticipatory grin and prompt the students with “Do you think Qlikvew can do that?”.

For the record, here’s the QV version of Gapminder’s “Health and Wealth of Nations”.  You can download a working QVW that includes the animation here. Click the green play button and watch it march through the years from 1800 to 2009.

Qlikview chart animations are enabled on the Dimensions pane, Animate button. Animations do not play in the Ajax client.
This animation has a big wow factor, and it’s a hit in class. But I’ve yet to see a useful animation implemented with customer data. If you have done one, I’d love to hear about it.
I find the the work of Gapminder to be not only technically inspiring, but a powerful demonstration of how data visualization can foment understanding of important issues.

5 thoughts on “Animated Charts and Gapminder”

  1. Rob,

    Really like the visually accurate recretion of the GapMinder visuals.

    I did something similar a few years ago after seeing Hans’ presentation and created a post about it earlier in the year:

    I also included a few additional metrics to compare – such as CO2 Emmisions, all based on other freely available UN datasets.

    Like you I use this chart to show the power of Qlikview and Scatter charts to get to information that otherwise wouldn’t be readily apparent in the data.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Rob,

    My high school math teacher would be very surprised to see me described as the kid whose homework got copied. I may have to forward him this post 😉

    Excellent job on the Gapminder animation. I too have been asked the “Can QlikView do Gapminder?” question more than once, so I guess now’s my chance to copy some of your work 😉


  3. Cool! I was blown away with Hans’ Rosling’s presentation and seeing it in Qlikview is equally amazing.

    Question though, can we replicate the “trail” function in Gapminder in Qlikview? (where the dot leaves a trail as it moves to show where it has been) My guess is not – not yet at least.

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