Visualizing Data: World Obesity Rates, NY Marathon Route Census Analysis

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has put out a mapping application showing the global prevalence of obesity for males and females over twenty years of age.  WHO defines obesity as those individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is 30 or higher.  According to WHO’s factsheet on obesity, in 2008 it was estimated:

  • 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight.
  • Of these 1.5 billion overweight adults, over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
  • Overall, more than one in ten of the world’s adult population was obese.
On the mapping application, areas around the world that have the lowest obesity rates are shaded yellow, and other with the highest are shaded dark orange.  Bangladesh at 7.7% had the lowest percentage, and the Micronesia island country of Nauru had the highest at 92.8%.


The NY Times published an interactive map showing the economic change along the marathon route since 1976.  The 2 and a half minute video explores the changes in median income, race, and ethnic makeup between 1976 and 2010.  Using an oblique view, the series of maps show 3D graphed values along the route for median income and ethnic and racial groups.  The maps are complementary to the main article entitled, “Along the Route, Neighborhood Snapshots of New York’s Progression.

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