The world's first computer-generated satire. A team of fictitious "experts"
give their amusing views on any given topic. Visit site»
We find similar sentences to those in Wikipedia, complete with their citations for you to paste into your essay. It's the easy way to branch off to find authoritative sources and relevant quotes to deepen your research. Visit site»
Where stats come alive. The world's largest database for statistical
comparisons between nations.
Over two thousand ways to compare US states. America's free and unique educational resource for state-level information on nearly everything.
The wiki search engine. Search over 1200 wikis at once translated into 12 different languages.Visit site»
Uses AOL search data to report on search engine usage: what sites searchers found and what they searched for to find them.
Rapid Intelligence makes useful reference sites by making them smarter
We make use of the best freely licensed content on the web to create useful and unique sites that satisfy your curiosity.
Our sites use the internet itself as a vast data source in order to provide users with original and informative views of content.
COUNTRY CLUSTERS: STATISTICALLY SIMILAR COUNTRIES IN NETWORK GRAPHS
Thu 31 Oct 13
What would the world look like if you shifted countries around based on similarity? What if you clustered countries according to statistical performance, rather than other predefined groups, regions and associations?
We did just that at NationMaster. We created network graphs where the most similar countries become neighbours. The more similar their statistical performance, the closer countries are. And if they're not that similar, we show no connection at all. (We tried showing more connections but then the graphs turned into big unreadable blobs).
This analysis doesn't directly take into account the kinds of institutions countries have or their cultural mix, just how they score in 4,000 different statistics. We chose to show only countries that had strong correlations, just so you could (almost) fit the graph on your screen. Exceptional countries like The United States often don't make an appearance for that reason.
What you get is a new way of looking at countries. It's not just interesting. It helps us here think about how we should group countries.
Below you see the graph for all indicators: You can see in the top left the West, and sub clusters within them: some English speaking former British colonies (Canada, NZ, Australia), Scandinavia, Western Europe, Southern Europe. Below you see a nice cluster for former Warsaw Pact countries, with Slovakia being the most typical. At the middle bottom we have our middle income countries: a mix of South America with some South East Asia.
In the bottom right hand corner of our map we see western Europe, with Southern Europe and Scandinavia in their own subclusters.
MAKING IT SUPER EASY TO GET REFERENCES FROM WIKIPEDIA ARTICLES
Tue 1 Mar 11
Announcing the launch of perhaps our most useful feature yet.
We find similar sentences to those in Wikipedia, complete with their citations for you to paste into your essay. It's the easy way to branch off to find authoritative sources and relevant quotes to deepen your research.
You said it's easy to get lost in Wikipedia. We heard you and now have breadcrumbs. And our quizzes are more fun with "What's this picture?" type questions. Like with this Lady Gaga quiz. We also have interesting facts listed on the right hand of articles in our Did you know? section.
SEE WHAT'S HOT ON WIKIPEDIA IN OVER 13,000 CATEGORIES!
Fri 23 Jul 10
All you stat lovers out there, check out our new site, The Full Wiki. It allows you to monitor global trends by seeing what's hot on Wikipedia. We've combined Wikipedia traffic data with their categories, to create 13,000 what's hot lists. Updated daily.
Some interesting examples from today's trending topics:
The map and the article are linked throughout. Click on a map marker and it jumps to that part of the article. Click on an article marker and it will show you that location on the map.
See for example our tourism fact map. If we click on Bangkok (Q), for example, we can see the relevant part of the article and learn that it's the third most visited city in the world. Or zooming into Europe and clicking on Nice, Wikipedia tells us it was one of the first and best established resorts in the French Riveria.
From the makers of NationMaster comes a new project aimed at harnessing the wealth of content of wikis.
It's called the The Full Wiki. Its goal is to become a platform for an enriched user experience for wikis using open licenses.
We have seen many fantastic projects come and go under the weight of traffic spikes, large datasets and the need to stay fresh. We want to provide serious hosting resources to make these projects feasible.
If you have a wiki oriented project you'd like us to host or provide other help, check out The Full Wiki.
NATIONMASTER AND FACTBITES TOP WEB 2.0 APPS
Fri 11 Jul 08
We are honoured to be listed among Australia's best web 2.0 applications this week. Ross Dawson produced a list for the prestigious Business Review Weekly showing our most internationally successful, innovative sites.
We've just put live a significant revision of our technology on Factbites. Now there's more and higher quality results. We hope you notice the difference! Also, we have a new feature on the way which will be pretty obvious once it hits the site. Stay tuned.
Thanks for all the words of support. It keeps us motivated more than anything else.
As researchers and information professionals are called upon to provide not just information but intelligence, NationMaster.com is a great resource for gaining new insights from the available information.
I look forward to seeing what the traffic looks like. I remember a few years back we got a flood of email asking quite a range of detailed questions about our sources, then checked our stats to see we'd been on the front page of conspiracy site, Rense.com. :)
A more sophisticated methodology could be used here. One idea that has just hit me would be using archive.org and the Wikipedia history function to discover phrases that appeared on other sites first. This could be all automated.
But such activity should be applauded. Whatever people may speculate about Daniel Brandt's motives, the same thing could have been done by a Wikipedian with the same positive effect: as an open system that assimilates criticism, it will learn and evolve from negative press out there. And as a fast moving encyclopedia, it can react quickly to address the problem.
We've just updated our CIA Factbook data on NationMaster once again with 236 stats added or updated. The big standout are terrorism stats spanning time periods back to 1968 and 2000.
We've also done some extra work with the data ourselves doing things like splitting up exchange rates by year, having a stat for each major religion (instead of listing them all together). This makes it easier to graph and compare nations, staying true to our mission.
Our FactBites site is enjoying growing traffic, and I've just read a great review on the blog of Matthew Hurst, Director of Research at Intelliseek:
The results that Factbites generates are still extracts from web pages, but they are of far higher quality than the summaries that main stream web search engines provide. By focusing the technology on passages that make statements about the topic being searched for, the user experiences a far richer response. It should be noted that this type of interface has the potential to change the way in which searches are performed as the search engine is now doing more of the heavy lifting and is not trying to guess the intention of the user.
The site also has an In The News feature now, linking to the recent topics.
Or "If I say something weird, will you leave me and never come back?"
A big issue with running stat sites is providing relevant, useful info that users understand while not cutting down what the users see until they can't question you.
On NationMaster and StateMaster, there are thousands of stats, so you're always confronted with contradictions. Figures seemingly don't make sense when you put them altogether. Our competitors like the CIA World Factbook have so few stats that inconsistencies can't arise. It's the easy option.
Our correlations feature wasn't as much of a hit as I'd hoped, because people looked at the data and said "wa? Murder rate correlates to gun ownership that makes sense. But look it correlates even more strongly to orange juice consumption!"
In a world without sites like NationMaster, we just leave it to experts to select which stats are most relevant. Of course an expert is by definition someone more knowledgable of the domain, so they will be able to digest the info more readily. But when more statistically significant figures are lying around and are not used, everyone should have access to them so they can ask why.
Now with SEO Sleuth, I chose to show every search going to every site. Now, any webmaster can tell you that people come to your site looking for pretty different things to what the site offers. And looking at the terms as a whole may give you a distorted view of what the site's about (but perhaps a good view of what parts of the site are of interest to searchers). But yeah, we're left with the same problem; people give a quick "that doesn't look right" and leave the site. One thing I considered was linking to the actual searches to prove it, but I didn't want to be republishing such sensitive data. So once again, the quandry.
Blogging as a medium is supposed to allow people to be a little more personal. While I don't feel much need to talk much about my private life, I would really like to talk about why I do what I do.
I've been programming since I was 5 and doing generating stats for communities since I was 13 (back in the days of BBS's). Since then I've worked for a publisher, a web developer and an internet marketing agency. Now almost 30, and 4 years into running my own business, the same thing has always driven me.
For me, I have an introverted motivation and an extraverted one.
On the internal side of things, it's all about that eureka moment when something new arises out of nothing. When the machine gives you back something more intelligent and sophisticated than the code you wrote to discover it.
For the outer world, it's about knowledge; helping more people see the facts for themselves, without relying on any elite to digest them first.
NationMaster and StateMaster are referenced thousands of times on the web. For whenever you're in a discussion or debate, you know there's one site you can go to compare countries/states on just about anything. Of course you can generally use stats to support either side of an argument, but it does increase the quality of the debate and encourages people to find common ground in some area approaching reality.
Politics is very polarised these days, particularly in the US and the mass media landscape are more bombarded by sophisticated PR and marketing than ever. Our society in general is growing exponentially more complex. The reality of looking at a stat site like NationMaster is that you're going to be confronted with figures that don't fit nicely with your belief system, or even rival belief systems. Stats aren't perfect, but they bring people closer to the complexity of reality. That's something I really hope we can get on top of in this coming information age.
Tuesday 8th August was an adrenaline pumping day for me. Sitting on the ferry I was going through newly downloaded files on my laptop's desktop and came across these large gzips a mate had sent me that morning. I was thinking it was going to be that Google N-gram data. But browsing through it, it was clear these were searches, millions of them! I let out an involuntary audible expletive and then day I wondered round the city thinking up things to do with the data.
The most obvious site, it seemed, would be one that allows ordinary people to read this goldmine of personal information, instead of just people who knew how to read large files. (I was surprised by a number of news stories on the subject where the journalist disclaimed that they hadn't seen the data themselves). But I thought that was a bit unethical. As it turns out, there's no shortage of such sites out there now with dontdelete.com and aolsearchdatabase.com among the more popular.
I also started to see more research-oriented sites crop up that looked at it completely in aggregate - what proportion of people click which ranked result for all terms, how long is the tail and such.
With my background in search, what was really interesting for me was the possibility of generating search engine reports for any site. Except for the rare occasion when a log reports are made publically available, we really don't know what people search for to find our competitors' sites.
Next thing I did was a transpose: for given keyword, it will tell you which sites get the traffic and where they rank. Obviously simply performing a search and seeing what ranks best is the traditional way of doing this, but very often lower ranking sites get more traffic. Knowing both where the results rank and how much traffic they got, and being able to look at the original search (just click on the keyword title) you can then use the tool to work out which sites had the best titles and descriptions (or perhaps brand power).
It certainly did live up to the hype of being the 64th game in the 2006 World Cup. With France and Italy knotted at 1-1, the match went into extra time, where the French captain Zinedine Zidane was sent off with a red card for head butting Marco Materazzi in the chest. It proved to be a death knell for France, as they went into penalty kicks without their leader, and lost 5-3.
NationMaster, in between matches, has been slowly keeping tally of statistics with an eye to compiling the most complete tables on World Cup history. You won't find these totals anywhere else on the net.
I just saw ClickTale in delicious. It will allow webmasters to view movies of their users' behaviour on their site, right down to mouse movements.
There's a lot of potential here. It could be a real help in isolating bugs. When a user writes a complaint email, match his IP/cookie to the profile and just watch exactly what he did. Then even those myriad "i went to ur website and it doesnt work" would be become useful.
And mouse tracking alone, wow. I can imagine in the not too distant future, I let a shaky old person take the keyboard and when I get it back, the ads on all my favourite sites are related to Parkinson's Disease. When they see the mouse get up to speed again the ads may ask me to write a testimonial for their miracle cure.
STATEMASTER.COM - TWIN PROJECT OF NATIONMASTER
Fri 14 Apr 06
Since NationMaster.com exploded onto the scene some three years ago, there have been faint voices in our minds that have grown louder as the critical success of the world's largest stat database for comparing countries was affirmed over and over again. That voice said something simple but powerful: 'you can do more with this formula'. So early on, we focused our sights on US states.
It frankly surprised us that with such a tremendous amount of complete and timely data emanating from US governmental agencies, NGO's, and research institutes that a project of compiling all of this data into one easy-to-use database had not yet been undertaken. Perhaps we were missing something; perhaps no one cares about statistics on the percentage of African Americans in the Army, or the number of inmates executed by the electric chair in Florida, or what New York's expenditure is for elementary and secondary education. But the more we talked about the possibilities of StateMaster.com, the more folks around us became excited as well. It was apparent that the web was missing something, not us.
So here are the fruits of our labor: StateMaster.com, which is launched with 2,613 stats, hundreds of maps and flags, and our unique visualization technology which allows you to see critical data in new and revealing ways. But this is only the beginning. We will be adding new stats all the time, as well as new state information, maps and flags. So be sure to check back in with us, and if you are interested in helping us out with this project consider being a Volunteer Editor. From all of us here at StateMaster and NationMaster, thank you for your tremendous support!
STATEMASTER, SISTER SITE TO NATIONMASTER, IS LAUNCHED TODAY
Wed 12 Apr 06
StateMaster, a free online resource for comparing US states, has been released today. We have translated our winning formula of statistical comparisons, graphs, maps and flags to the 50 states of America, giving our users another level of data at their fingertips. With over 2,500 stats on StateMaster, you can find information on anything from binge drinkers to
p>race related hate crimes.
Detailed state profiles, as well as thousands of maps and flags, are also included in the database, making us a one-stop resource for information about US states.
Keep in mind that our Volunteer Editor program will also be implemented for StateMaster, bringing together a community of folks interested in data and general information on US states. Let us know if you are interested!
This Toolbar is located on your browser, and gives you instant access to NationMaster's database. For those of you who downloaded our previous plug-in (see the previous news blog), this new Toolbar gives you even more functionality, increasing the quality and speed of your research, and making your general surfing experience more informative and enjoyable. Search NationMaster's database by simply typing your query into the search field, but perhaps our favorite feature is the 'search highlight' function, which allows you to highlight any text on any web page, right click your mouse, and search the NationMaster database for that keyword. You can also click on the NationMaster icon to go directly to statistical category pages, or view country profiles of major countries. The Toolbar also gives you instant site rankings for all websites and blocks pop-ups on Internet Explorer. Downloading the NationMaster Toolbar takes only a few brief moments.
Click here to install the NationMaster Toolbar for Mozilla/Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Teachers: looking for online tests which will improve your students' geography skills? Try NationMaster's new GeoLab, designed by Professor Steven M. Graves of California State University. Using this GeoLab, students follow directions for navigating NationMaster's site, viewing specific graphs, maps, scatterplots and correlations and answering questions about the data. All major areas of our statistical database are covered. At the end of the lab, students will be able to formulate their own correlation hypothesis, outlining a strong or weak correlation between two statistical variables and testing that hypothesis using Nationmaster's correlation technology. Students can then submit his/her GeoLab results directly to their teachers e-mail address. We hope to add more GeoLabs in the future, so check back in with us regularly!
We've spent many days redesigning our pages, and you can now witness the fruits of our labor: a new bold look for NationMaster! Our hope is to add to the functionality of our site, making it easier to navigate and more entertaining to use. Our search functions are updated and streamlined, making your stat search that much easier and quicker, giving you access to our database in mere seconds!
As you may well be aware, this new look follows on the heels of our decision to make the entire site free for all users. With this new redesign, when you are viewing a certain statistic, correlations and graphing tools are more easily accessible: with just a click of a button you can view up-to-date information with our unique visualization technology. Feel free to let us know if our redesign makes your researching and stat surfing more user-friendly.
Our redesign not only effects your ability to use our site; it also includes new behind-the-scenes technology that allows us to update our database more quickly and easily. This technology upgrade translates into more time-sensitive information at your fingertips, existing stats getting even more frequent updates, and new stats added at the drop of a hat. The ball is rolling at NationMaster: evermore relevant, evermore accurate, and getting larger all the time!
In other news, we've just made a NationMaster search engine plug-in for Mozilla-based browsers. This allows you to search NationMaster pages no matter what website you happen to be on, an excellent search function located on your toolbar.
NATIONMASTER.COM BECOMES ENTIRELY FREE!
Wed 2 Nov 05
Today the world's most popular online statistics database becomes entirely free!
At NationMaster, we've always prided ourselves on being a largely free service â€“ journalists come here for information about stories, net-users link to us to prove arguments in chat rooms, and stat buffs from all over the world come just to sift through the endlessly interesting statistics â€“ all for free. But special functions â€“ such as pie charts, scatterplots, and correlations graphs â€“ have traditionally been reserved as rewards for those who chose to give a little bit extra to support the site.
Now the entire site is free. For the first time, anyone in the world can generate pie charts, scatterplots, and correlations graphs for just about any statistic. And the results are amazing â€“ even if we do say so ourselves! Want a pie chart showing which countries make up the greatest percentage of total world arms exports? Need to know what the correlation is between mobile phone use and womenâ€™s rights? Just try it out â€“ we're sure youâ€™ll be astonished at what you find.
Luke Metcalfe, founder of the site, explains the reasoning behind the shift:
"Because of all the support we've received over the past few years, we've reached a point where the site is financially self-sustaining. Rather than give ourselves a pay rise, we've decided it's a good time to give something back. Not enough people have been getting access to some of NationMaster's most amazing features. Now everyone can use all the site, all the time."
To use any of the newly free features, just adjust the "View" entry in the green NationMaster "Make Your Own Graph" toolbar. By default, it reads "Map & Graph / Table". Simply click on the arrow beside it, and select "Scatterplot", "Pie Chart", or "Correlations" from the drop-down box. Then select the statistics you want to compare. It's that easy!
Lastly, a word to our loyal supporters â€“ from all of us here at NationMaster, thank you. Without your generous support, we would never have arrived where we are today â€“ ready to give the whole world free access to the entire site.
Once again, everyone here at NationMaster extends a big thanks to all our supporters! Enjoy the newly free features!
NATIONMASTER MAKES AVAILABLE CORRELATING TOOLS ON COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD.
Wed 2 Nov 05
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NationMaster Makes Available Correlating Tools on Countries of the World
NationMaster.com, the worldâ€™s largest online statistical database for country comparisons, has today announced free access to their correlation tools. This service allows the user to compare any two statistics (out of a database of over 5,700) in order to shed new light on information highly-useful to journalists, writers, professors and the general public. Correlations can therefore be used to inform debates on crime, politics, education, poverty and so on.
â€śWeâ€™ve seen NationMaster quoted in thousands of online debates,â€ť says John Steinmetz, Content Manager for NationMaster, â€śand itâ€™s true that statistics can be dangerous; they can be used to justify anything. We actually found a blogger using NationMasterâ€™s information to prove that there is a link between child poverty and the number of television sets in a country. It then occurred to us, why not develop a technology that would allow our users to take any two statistics from our database and compare them, revealing hidden statistical relationships.â€ť
Using NationMasterâ€™s correlations, strong links can be found between:
â€˘ A large number of prisoners in a country and high teenage pregnancy.
â€˘ A high external debt of a country and a large population of elderly.
â€˘ A large population of couples with children and a high number of McDonalds in a country.
Rather than NationMaster.com coming to conclusions about a given set of data, these applications allow users to develop their own comparisons and, in effect, arrive at their own assumptions and conclusions. â€śNever has such a tool been applied to so much data, and available to so many people,â€ť Steinmetz says, â€śwe are trying to start a statistics revolution. We want to give people access to information, and make it fun and interesting. We think thereâ€™s something intriguing about Malaysia having the lowest rate of cinema attendance in the world, or Iceland having twice as many tractors per capita than any other country. These correlations take it to another level, bringing to surface a lot of questions that are never asked, some bizarre and entertaining, others enlightening and speaking volumes about our world.â€ť
This free correlations tool is just the latest in a series of statistical visualization technologies, which includes scatterplots and mapping applications. The website offers users a database on thousands of statistics in categories such as health, government, identification, mortality and people, as well as providing general country information, maps and flags, lesson plans for teachers, forums, and a student area. It was recently listed by NielsenNet ratings as one of the top ten fastest growing educational reference sites, viewed by over 1 million Americans last month.
FROM THE MAKERS OF NATIONMASTER - FACTBITES!
Mon 11 Apr 05
What do you get if you cross a search engine with an encyclopedia? The answer arrived on the net today - Factbites (www.Factbites.com), a new approach to search. Under the slogan "where results make sense", Factbites provides searchers with full sentences about their search topic, rather than the sentence fragments most search engines offer.
Rather than focusing on link-based technology like Google, Factbites delves into the tone and subject matter of the given topic. The engine "reads" the content of each page and determines how meaningful the text is. It seeks out authoritative and informative content, preferring encyclopedia-style fact-based descriptions to the chatty, spammy and inconsequential.
The end result is a clean summary you can almost read from beginning to end. Not only is this an effective filter against spam and clutter, it's also a time saver, because it gives users a clear picture of what each destination site is about. For encyclopedia-style content, the site makes some large claims. The website challenges users to compare Factbites results to Google results at Factbites vs. Google. When searching for quick information on the sort of things you'd usually go to an encyclopedia for, the results are surprisingly clear - Factbites wins hands down. Don't take our word for it, check the site yourself - Factbites!
Our specialised expertise in the fields of computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and evolving algorithms ensures that our sites are growing, vibrant, and fed by a constant stream of web data.
We take sophisticated machine learning technologies of a type normally only used by large corporate entities and make them available to internet users generally.
The highly acclaimed results range from the intelligent and authoritative to the quirky and amusing. NationMaster, our best-known site, has been featured in The New York Times, CNN and the BBC and is recommended by the Harvard Business School and the American Library Association. Our search engine/encyclopedia hybrid FactBites has already attracted favourable comment in BusinessWeek and SearchEngineJournal, and is rapidly gaining popularity as a respected alternative to Google for encyclopedia-style searches.