#Dataviz winner: The Human Development Tree by Jurjen Verhagen

21 April 2015

The Human Development Tree by Jurjen Verhagen, an engineer and interactive visualization specialist from the Netherlands, was selected today as the winner of the Data Visualization Competition organized by the Human Development Report Office for the Cartagena DataFest. He and the other two finalists, Close the Gap by Ri Liu and Visualizing the 2013 Human Development Index by InKyung Choi and her team, travelled to the Cartagena DataFest, where they received their awards on 21 April, 2015, from the Mayor of Cartagena and the Deputy Director of HDRO, in front of hundreds of data artists and scientists from around the world.

The three finalists for the Human Development Data Visualization Competition stood out for their aesthetic appeal, communications value, technique and originality. They were selected out of a large and interesting pool of submissions by a judging panel composed of data visualization experts and members of the DataFest organizing committee.

The Human Development Report Office (HDRO) received 80 submissions from 29 countries for this Data Visualization Competition. Nine of these were identified for the final round of judging by a panel of experts in data visualization and development.

Meet the finalists

The winner of the competition was The Human Development Tree, which was created by Jurjen Verhagen, an engineer and interactive visualization specialist with Zolabo, in the Netherlands. The visualization lets the user generate an Human Development Index (HDI) value which they consider acceptable as minimal life conditions. Using these values, each user gets a tree which shows how many countries have low HDI, but also shows progress over time. The visualization is strong in terms of design, as it includes three-dimensional elements and advanced use of visual components and color. It also allows the user to reflect on the human development components and how they are reflected in the HDI of different countries.

The first runner-up was Close the Gap, which was created by Ri Lui, a freelance data visualization designer from Australia who describes herself as having a passion for using data for social good. Her visualization seeks to communicate the gaps between women and men that exist around the world by exploring the facets of labour force participation, parliamentary participation, secondary education and income levels. It also seeks to highlight which countries have improved the most, and which are doing poorly in the efforts towards gender equality. The visualization intends to increase the understanding of gender gaps worldwide, and thus became an advanced analytical dashboard.

The second runner-up was Visualizing the 2013 Human Development Index, which was submitted by InKyung Choi, a spatial statistics specialist working at UNECA in Ethiopia. The work is a collective effort with Katalin Bokor, Xuan Che, Malgorzata Cwiek and Peter Njagi. The visualization consists of three interconnected parts, showing inequality, population distribution and progress in terms of HDI and its components.