Interactive map by Jennifer Bissell

The interactive map below, based on data from International Rivers, shows the 24 dam projects in Africa that involve either Chinese sources of finance or Chinese developers or construction firms.

Base map design: Mapbox, Base map data: OpenStreetMap contributors

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The One North report proposes to upgrade infrastructure in the north of England, focusing on links between five cities: Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. One way of showing how well linked the five cities are is to look at commuter flows. This interactive graphic shows total flows between the five cities, based on data from the 2011 UK census.  Read more

OK Cupid, an online dating site, has caused a bit of a stir recently about performing experiments on their users. But even without the ethical questions there’s reason to be skeptical about what their data can actually tell us.

Big Data, the book by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, talks about two phenomena they believe will drive a big data revolution: ‘Digital exhaust’ and ‘N equals all’. The first refers to the trail of information we leave behind when using the internet that are the residue of clicks and typing. Read more

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In news that will delight statisticians everywhere the distinction between the mean and the median finally has the political profile it deserves.

Yesterday Sir Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK statistical authority, wrote a letter clarifying an ongoing debate between Labour and Conservative politicians on waiting times in accident and emergency rooms. Read more

So the UK economy grew 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014, leaving output on this preliminary estimate at just about the previous peak set in Q1 2008, over six years ago. For an economy that produces almost £400bn a quarter in gross domestic product, exceeding the previous peak by £752m is really small beer, as our first chart below the break shows.

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