People Movin: See Human Migration Patterns Worldwide
Here's a brilliant example of a web-based data visualization tool, which helps people see patterns in what would otherwise be a pretty overwhelming set of information -- human migration between countries, worldwide.
People Movin starts by telling us that 3.15% of the world's population lives outside of its own country. It lists the top 10 migrant destinations (the U.S. is #1 by far; Russian Federation is #2 and Germany is #3), and the top 10 countries people are leaving (Mexico is #1, which makes sense since the U.S. is the top destination. India is #2. And get this, Russian Federation is #3, even though it's also the #2 destination.)
Whether or not you get hung up on the top 10 lists (as I did for the first couple minutes), you'll feel compelled to click on the colorful vertical bars that visually break down these migration patterns. Countries are listed alphabetically down each side. On the left, the countries people are leaving. On the right, the destinations. The bars are proportional to the number of emigrants/immigrants, and once you click on a country there are lines of varying thickness to show you where people are going or coming from.
Have fun playing with, and learning from, this brilliant data visualization tool! http://peoplemov.in