Draft Data Visualization about Hans Rosling

I use the numbers of citation to scale hans’ ted talk, and when there is no talk, the height should show the exact number of citation, if any talk shows up, then the height will be scaled. In this way, we can roughly see Hans’ influence.


I convert all the data from timeline into this artifact, designed with photoshop.


To consider how the influence of Hans Rosling on data visualization grew larger as time went on, we analyzed several media formats used to spread his idea, either shared by himself actively or not, including papers, TED talks, and YouTube videos. The graph shows the growing number of educational resources he created as well as the following impact, as scholars contributed more to related research topic with citation from his work and YouTube users uploaded 191 videos longer than 20 minutes. In general, there are about 212,000 results if we search the whole internet for his name in Google, and about 75,700 results in YouTube. Considering the fact that YouTube was founded in 2005, it means that on average 17 videos related with Hans Rosling were uploaded to YouTube every day.


His very first TED talk “The best statistics you’ve never seen” is listed into “11 must-see TED Talks” on TED official self-introduction page (Ted.com, 2017), as the perfect example to explain TED’s mission, spreading ideas. With the help of knowledge accumulated in teaching and research, he combined “knowledge-testing, animating bubble charts and storytelling about global development to make the world understandable based on reliable statistics” (Gapminder.org, 2017).


We gathered his research data from Research Gate (Research Gate, 2017) and Google Scholar, such as information about his papers and citation numbers. His research topics cover areas of public health, epidemiology & public health, E-Learning for epidemiology & statistics, health systems, epidemiologic studies, global Health and epidemiological surveys, which have a tight connection with his global development data.

Figure 1 Rosling’s Papers Published in Each Year

Figure 2 How Many Times Rosling were Cited in Each Year

The first layer in grey shows number of his papers published in each year, and the second layer in green shows the trend of citations he got, which has two peaks, one after his peak in publication, the other after his dramatically successful TED talks. He also has five books published, which are represented by blue book icons on the top of research data in the graph, together with 10 TED talks represented by red icons. Since the number is so small compared with other dataset, it’s visualized directly into icons.


Ted.com. (2017). Our organization. [online] Available at: https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization [Accessed 14 Mar. 2017].

Gapminder.org. (2017). About. [online] Available at: https://www.gapminder.org/about-gapminder/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2017].

Researchgate.net. (2017). Hans Rosling. [online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hans_Rosling [Accessed 14 Mar. 2017].

Data source:

This Google doc contains all the data related with the image above, and it can be viewed by anyone with this link. We can put this at the end of the blog post to keep the data open.


Thanks given to:

Ted icon from ted official website, and modified in photoshop http://www.ted.com/about/our-organization



Book icon from https://pixabay.com/en/book-read-books-learn-text-icon-1157658/, under CC0 Public Domain License(Free for commercial use, No attribution required )