Opening Over 2,000 Development Datasets

Eric Swanson and Shaida Badiee at the 2010 Spring Meeting Photo courtesy of World Bank Photo Collection. Eric Swanson and Shaida Badiee present on

Opening Over 2,000 World Development Indicators to the Public for Free

Strategy, design, and development for

Signaling the most aggressive open data push in the international development community to date, World Bank President Robert Zoellick launched in April 2010. The site is really just a display layer on top of the World Bank’s API, serving as the browser for the most commonly used data, and is built to let researchers and policy makers filter though the vast data sets and quickly jump to indicators. We designed, built, and launched the entire site in just over a month.

Mapping indicators

For much of this data, this is the first time that it is available in languages other than English. The site is currently in Arabic, Spanish, French, and English.


All the data is highly interactive. For example, you can graph countries against each other.


Building for performance

The data browser was built using all open source tools. In order to get the level of performance we needed for the site, we worked to modify the API’s internals. The process of building the site directly against the API provided valuable feedback of what needed to be changed in the public API to make it a valuable and reliable tool for a broad group of potential users.

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We're a team of engineers and designers working on big projects. We believe in open source and in building for lasting impact.

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