Internet Live Stats is part of the Real Time Statistics Project (Worldometers and 7 Billion World).
We are an international team of developers, researchers, and analysts with the goal of making statistics available in a dynamic and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world.
We pioneered two methods of visualizing data: the Single Unit Isotype and the Live Isotype (more about these below). Both are used on Internet Live Stats in addition to our live statistic counters, for which we are the trusted leading provider worldwide (our clients include BBC News, United Nations Conference Rio+20, U2, Wired, Kaspersky Lab, etc.).
Our global data website Worldometers has been voted as best online reference website by the American Library Association (ALA) and our statistics are referenced in over 400 published books and more than 150 professional journal articles.
Single Unit Isotype
When we launched 7 Billion World in October 2011, we came up with an important variation of the traditional Isotype system.
With Isotype, the system developed in the 1930s by Otto Neurath in which large sets of quantitative data are visualized by repeating symbols of the same size rather than making the symbols larger or smaller in order to convey magnitude, each symbol ("sign") represents a large quantity ("unit"). In the words of Otto Neurath, "the selection of the unit will be as great as possible but small enough to give the rough curve of development clearly." This rule ensures that a comparison can be easily made between multiple sets of symbols drawn within the same "picture" on the page.
But when the goal is to convey not a relationship between quantities but the magnitude of a quantity, we thought that the best way to achieve this was to make each symbol representative of a single unit (1 symbol = 1 unit). We believe that this provides the most intuitive and direct way for our eyes - and our mind - to effectively perceive a quantity.
With the traditional Isotype system the population of the world would be visualized by making each symbol representative of a large number of people (e.g. 1 symbol = 100,000,000 people ), with 7 Billion World instead, each symbol represents a single person. For the first time, massive quantitative data is visualized with an Isotype in which each symbol represented a single unit.
We had just introduced the Single Unit Isotype (RTS Project, 2011), which is now employed across our live statistic projects, including Internet Live Stats.
Andy Warhol's serial art
In addition to providing a formidable method of data visualization, the Single Unit Isotype can be seen as possessing an artistic quality to it, evocating the serial pop art work of Andy Warhol in which the canvas is covered with repeated images of Campbell's Soup Cans, dollar bills, Coca-Cola bottles, or publicity photos of movie stars.
When using static numbers to describe numerical change through time, we fail to provide a sense of the relationship between the magnitude of change and the flow of time, which is how we experience change in real life. What static numbers fail to provide is the perception of the frequency and timing of events, the rhythm, an essential part of nature and a tool for understanding the physical phenomena surrounding us. Only by employing live counters we are able to convey these elements and truly grasp the magnitude of the quantitative change through time.
When we combine the live counters with our Single Unit Isotype concept, we achieve the ultimate live statistic visualization (implemented on this website in the Watch section). The Live Isotype represents a revolution for statistical representation, comparable to the introduction of live motion picture in a world of still photographs.
- Otto Neurath, International picture language. London: Kegan Paul, 1936, p. 79. [Pdf scan]
- Otto Neurath, International picture language. London: Kegan Paul, 1936, pp. 45, 78. [Pdf scan]
- "Andy Warhol. (American, 1928–1987). Campbell's Soup Cans. 1962," Museum of Modern Art, 2006.