Data Analysis

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World Map: Historic Data

The World Map option is a constantly evolving program, with new features added to the option regularly. The World Map is located under the Data Analysis option on the Main Menu.

The main function of the World Map is to display data in a visually dramatic format. Instead of representing country-related forecasts as lines in a graph, or columns in a table, the user is able to view the forecasts as shades of color imposed on a map of the world.

A function of the menu of the map feature is Continue button. Use this to exit and return to the previous display screen.

Another menu option is Display Data. If this option is selected, a box will appear that allows users to change the data set that is being displayed. The default data set that is available is the TimeSeries data table. By scrolling through the Data Table, users can select from different data sets. These sets then correspond with a larger list of variables displayed in the Variable Name scroll-down. Below the Variable Name option is the Dimension of Variable which allows users to change the year being displayed. At the top right of this box is the ability to increase the amount of categories displayed as well as switching between Equal Interval or Equal Count. The later option allows users to either display an equal number of countries in one category or numerically equal categories. Finally, at the very bottom of this box, users are able to access the Data Information.

Another feature of this version of the map is Display Options. The following options can be found by selecting this option.

  • Labels: Selecting this option will allow users to place the names of all countries on the map. Removing Labels will take these names away. Users can also change the font of the country names.
  • Colors: By selecting this option, users have the ability to change the color in which data is displayed.
  • Projection: By selecting this option, users have the ability to display the map differently.
  • Layers: Selecting this option presents users with the ability to add different layers on top of the map to more clearly see how geographic changes may or may not play a role in different data displays. The layers that the user can add include infrastructure, such as roads, railways, and piplines, and environmental, including options such as rivers and forest cover. The user is also able to remove all or specified layers.

Another feature of the map is the collection of different buttons located directly beneath menu options.

  • A magnifying glass next to a plus sign: can be used to zoom in on a specific part of the world. Simply highlight the button, move your mouse over the part of the world you would like to more closely look at and left click.
  • A magnifying glass next to a minus sign: can be used to zoom out. Simply highlight this button, move your mouse over the world map and left click.
  • A hand: can be used to move the world map around. Highlight this feature, move your mouse over a zoomed-in world map, left click, hold and drag to your desired location.
  • A globe: can be used to zoom back out to the standard, centered, default view of the world map.
  • A printer: can be used to print out the map you are looking at.
  • A pointer: can be used to copy the data that underlies the map display. Clicking on this button will present a prompt that tells you that you have copied the data to the computerclipboard. If you would like to, say, copy the data to a Word file, simply open the file, right click on the white, empty space and select paste.

Some final features of the map are located to the left of the map and below the map. The map legend is located to the left of the map. It displays the data points that delineate the different display categories. On the bottom of the map display, the year being displayed is identified as well as the variable name.

World Map Movie

The World Map Movie is accessible in two locations in IFs. The first is under the Data Analysis heading on the main IFs screen. The second is under Specialized Display, which is a sub-heading of the Display heading on the Main Menu. The World Map Movie found under the Data Analysis heading deals with historic data, while the World Map Movie found under the Specialized Display heading deals with forecasted data. Selecting the World Map Movie allows the user to display on a map of the world the changes in selected variables over time in all of the countries for which IFs has data. This section describes how to use the various options to tailor the movie to the userpreferences.

After selecting World Map Movie, the dialog box pictured below appears on the userscreen.


Choose Variables and Years

  • Variables: allows user to select from the entire database of variables in IFs for the Historic World Map Movie. The forecasted World Map Movie includes a more limited database of variables from which to choose.
  • Start Year: Enter the year from which the movie will begin.
  • End Year: Enter in the year with which the movie will end.
  • Filter: User can set the filter from 1% to 100%. This feature sets a minimum value for a portion of the data to be displayed in a given year.
  • Category: Can be set from 1 to 16. Determines the number of categories to divide the values into.
  • Constant/Variable Legend: Selecting the constant function will keep the numbers and measurements in the individual categories constant. The numbers and measurements will change over time if the variable legend is selected.
  • Display Type: When Constant Legend is selected, two options will appear under display type: equal interval and equal count. The equal interval function divides the values equally between categories, with the interval calculated by the equation (highest value-lowest value/number of categories= interval width). The equal count function distributes the number of countries equally between the selected of number of categories. When Variable Legend is selected, a third option becomes available: equal match. If equal match is selected, legend values are assigned to each value uniquely. If there are not enough categories to represent each value, the countries that do not have the selected values are represented as blank.

Controlling Options

  • Automatic: When deselected, the user scrolls through the years of the movie manually. When selected, the movie will automatically play the start year to the end year.
  • World/Country: This toggle switch is available only under the Historic World Map Movie. It allows the user to view a movie of changes of the selected variable across the world or, when country is selected, to view a movie of the change in a variable across regions in a country. Three countries are available to the user to select: China, India, and Mexico.
  • Create Movie file: This toggle switch allows the user to save the movie created. When the playing of the movie is complete, a prompt appears which allows the user to name and save the movie file. The saved movie file is available in Stored Map Movie.

After selecting Start, the dialogue box will close, and the World Map as pictured below (or similar to it) will appear. This section describes what the user is viewing, and how to manipulate the functions at the bottom of the screen.


Playing Movie for Historic Data

The upper left portion of the screen lists whether the movie is showing a variable or constant legend and across which period of time. Underneath this information is the number of categories and the corresponding color for each category, and the numerical range for each category.

The main portion of the screen is the world map, divided into all countries for which IFs has data. The various shadings of the countries correspond to the various shading of the categories listed in the map legend. By right-clicking on the world map, the user is able to copy the map, zoom in on a particular location of the map, zoom out, or to reset the map to its original point of view.

The bottom section of the screen, from left to right, lists the variable displayed by the map, with the start year shown and the level of the filter. Next is the selected display type. The four buttons to the right of the display type allow the user to zoom in, zoom out, pan, and show the full extent of the world map. The first two buttons allow the user to zoom in on or zoom out from the area under which the cursor is located, while the full extent option resets the view of the world to the original perspective. The pan button allows the user to pan across the world by clicking on different parts of the map, which effectively pans across the world by re-centering the map on the area selected, after having zoomed in or zoomed, without zooming in or out any further. The next set of buttons allows the user to play or pause the movie, and to adjust the speed at which the movie will play. Next is a toggle switch which, when selected, makes the movie play automatically; when the switch is not selected, the user is able to advance the year displayed on the map or to go over previous years.

If the user selected “Create Movie File” during the setup phase, a dialogue box will appear after the movie is finished playing that prompts the user to provide a name and a place to save the movie file. The program will alert the user if the .avi file is successfully created and saved. To review the saved movie file, go to Stored Map Movie.

Analyze Across Time (Longitudinal Analysis)

This option can be accessed from the Data Analysis option on IFs Main Menu.


This screen looks much like others you have seen. One difference is that you must select a single or a small set of countries for your longitudinal analysis. You can look at a variable over time (using time as the independent variable), or you can treat time as points on the graph and look at the relationship between two variables.

Pick a variable such as AIDDon%GNI (aid donations as a percent of Gross National Income, the successor concept to Gross National Product). Using the screen that comes up when you touch Select Countries, pick the United States as a donor country. Then Exit back to the screen for analysis over time and Plot the result. You will see the decline in U.S. aid commitment over time.

On this particular plot, and dependent on the version of the model you are using, you may see values for Earliest and MostRecent. These values have been entered into the data file so that users can have available; for example, the most recent value of a variable for all countries, regardless of whether that value comes from 2000, 2001, or 2005. Most recent (and earliest) values are especially useful for cross-sectional analysis and you may or may not want them on your longitudinal graph.

Another feature of this section of IFs is the Computations button.

Exploration of maps, cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships, and relationships computed for IFs can give you much information about the apparent relationships among a wide range of global development indicators. Even if you never used IFs for forecasting, this data analysis capacity could significantly enhance your understanding of the world.

Analyze Across Countries (Cross-Sectional Analysis)