Hide menu

NCVA logo

Statistics eXplorer


Interactive Statistical Visualization using Adobe Flash

Statistics eXplorer integrates many common InfoVis and GeoVis methods required to make sense of statistical data, uncover patterns of interests, gain insight, tell-a-story and finally communicate knowledge. Statistics eXplorer was developed based on a component architecture and includes a wide range of visualization techniques enhanced with various interaction techniques and interactive features to support better data exploration and analysis. It also supports multiple linked views and integrated storytelling with a snapshot mechanism for capturing discoveries made during the exploratory data analysis process which can be used for sharing gained knowledge.

The eXplorer applications are available on the NCVA/LiU web sites for educational and research usage only.


World eXplorer shows "ageing population" using three linked views


World eXplorer


FigureThree linked and coordinated views covering the following visualization methods (choropleth map representing the indicator "age group 65+" , the extended scatter plot shows four indicators "age group young 0-14" (Y-axis), "age group 65+ (Y-axis), "age group 65+" (colour) and dot size is related to the indicator "total population". The fish eye bar chart uses a focus&context method to highlight about 20 countries (bars in focus) representing countries with highest rate elderly people in 2014 (Japan, Italy and Germany) while the remaining 270 countries (context) are displayed as thin bars. The bars are coloured according to the active colour legend ("age group 65+") and applied in all three views. The Story represents our Storytelling method and controls how eXplorer will be initiated including selected visualization methods, colour legend, selected countries, time step, etc. 


Statistics eXplorer depends on key Geovisual Analytics visualization, analytics and storytelling methods to make sence of statistical data


geovisual analytics

Figure: Statistics eXplorer applications involve the integration of important visualization and analytics taxonomy required to make sense of statistical data – to pursue questions using several famous Geovisual Analytics and InfoVis methods, uncover patterns of interests, gain insight, tell-a-story and finally communicate knowledge.


More about Statistics eXplorer

Statistics eXplorer is a web compliant application suite that enables the statistics visualization of socio-economic information at national or detailed territorial level providing clear insight on regional differences and performance within a country and comparison of different areas across countries. Statistics eXplorer enables users to explore simultaneously spatial, temporal and multivariate data (both numeric and categorical) from multiple perspectives, to discover interesting relationships, to share their incremental discoveries with colleagues and finally to communicate selected relevant knowledge to other users. A Statistics eXplorer application is composed of GeoAnalytics Visualization (GAV) components facilitating a broad collection of dynamic visualization methods developed and integrated for use with the Adobe Flash and Flex development platform. In this respect, Statistics eXplorer represents a leading edge tool being adapted to the Internet and used as a web-enabled toolkit by many international (OECD, IMF, Eorostat,..) and national organizations.

Learn more about eXplorer through these 2 videos:

Introduction to eXplorer      eXplorer Data Management


Statistics eXplorer History

The first version of Statistics eXplorer was released in November 2008 installed at the OECD web-site and was named named OECD Regional eXplorer - see: http://www.oecd.org/gov/regional-policy/regionalstatisticsandindicators.htm . Several extended versions has been released that enhances the possibility to explore trends over time, provides novel functions for presenting stories about the statistics and combines metadata and maps status.

Further developments during 2009-2010 (and through spin-off company NComVA 2010-2012) resulted in the creation of a generic highly interactive web “eXplorer” platform Customizable Statistics eXplorer and the following special eXplorer versions: World eXplorer,  Sverige eXplorer, Europe eXplorer and MDim eXplorer available on the web site.


Load Statistical Data direct through our World Databank interface

World dataBank Interface



Figure: Multivariate spatio temporal statistical data can be imported using various types of Excel formats or direct from the to the World Databank through an API interface. This statistical data interface will always give you direct access to the latest data from the World atabank 






Explore, present and communicate using "Storytelling"

Interactive controls enable the user to enter a visual dialog with the data using a well-known information visualization seeking rule: “analyze first, show the important, zoom, filter and analyze further, details-on-demand”. Visualization methods also provide the foundation for using multiple linked and coordinated views and in the Statistical eXplorer framework applied together with combinations of brushes realizing the overall concept of our framework. The eXplorer applications demonstrates this concept to simultaneously present, explore, and analyze different aspects of multivariate data. The views are used adjacent to each other and include map, scatter plot, bar chart with fish eye view, time graph, parallel coordinates, distribution plot, data table etc. Interesting subsets of the data are interactively selected and brushed, and the relations are investigated in all the linked views. A data-of-interest method is used in all linked views to visually separate interesting data features from the rest of the data.  To accomplish this the eXplorer framework uses focus&context defined within information visualization such as the fish eye technique in bar graphs and dynamic queries in parallel coordinates, table lens and an attached color legend extending the analysis capabilities to scenarios with larger data sets.

  1. Import statistical data through Excel, SDMX, PC AXIS or World Databank;
  2. Explore and make discoveries through trends and patterns and derive insight
  3. Create a story
  4. Share the story with colleagues and reach consensus and trust. Visual discoveries are captured into snapshots together with descriptive metadata and hyperlinks in relation to the analytics reasoning. The author gets feedback from colleagues and then adapts the story

Word eXplorer expl

Figure: The eXplorer analytical storytelling loop – A Story with snapshots and metadata is created in the eXplorer Story Editor – Story is saved and can be shared with colleagues to reach consensus – The Story can be accessed by the public.

Learn more about Storytelling in this video: Storytelling Video


explorer applications


Figure: Statistics eXplorer World (nations), Europe (regions), Sverige (counties and municipalities) and MDim (no geographical regios) versions available at NCVA/LiU for education and research

Read Paper about:

Visual Storytelling applied to Spatio-temporal and Multi-dimensional Scientific Business or Statistics Data.pdf


Available Geovisual Analytics methods in Statistics eXplorer

explorer flash tools

Figure: The following geovisual analytics methods are available and applied in eXplorer applications. MDim eXplorer also provides the Treemap.


Links to other public Statistics eXplorer applications: 

Statistikatlas (SCB)

Statistikatlas explores statistical data for Swedish municipalities and counties.

Visit SCB Web site for more information and demonstrators: Statistikatlas

This municipality map of Sweden shows statistics from the SCB Statistical Database. 

 SCB Statistikatlas



OECD Regional eXplorer

OECD eXplorer (OECD web site)

OECD Regional eXplorerFigure: OECD TL3 (simular to Eurostat NUTS3) showing ageing population (65 and above). The Distribution plot shows that Germany and Spain has regions with highest rate of elderly people.

OECD countries have experienced a growing interest in regional development in recent years. The performance of regional economies and the effectiveness of regional policy help determine a nation’s growth and shape the measure of well-being across countries. For the past years the OECD has been studying regional disparities and development patterns in its member countries in order to evaluate innovative strategies and diffuse successful policies.

The OECD Regional database is a unique source of statistical information at sub-national level for all the OECD Countries. It contains yearly time-series for around 40 indicators on demography, economy and labour market opportunities, environment, social issues and innovation related activities for more than 1,700 regions of the OECD countries. Regions within each OECD country are classified on the basis of two territorial levels: the higher level (TL2) consists of 335 large regions while the lower level (TL3) is composed of 1,679 small regions. This classification, adopted in many countries in the design of regional policy, facilitates greater comparability of regions at the same territorial level. The OECD regional database is available on the Statistical Portal at the OECD website http://stats.oecd.org/OECDregionalstatistics/#story=1



OECD Factbook eXplorer

Factbook eXplorer256 preloaded time-related indicators for exploring OECD countries. The most comprehensive data source for exploring socio-economic statistics for OECD countries.
Below you find two versions: the OECD Factbook's official Web site and the OECD Factbook eXplorer.

The image shows fertility rates vs. employment for women 1970-2006.

 OECD Factbook eXplorer(world map) http://stats.oecd.org/oecdfactbook/



Swedish Zip Code Regions "Postnummeratlas"

This is another collaborative Geovisual Analytics project between Statistics Sweden and NCVA providing visualization methods for BIG data here represented by more than 10,000 geographical zip code regions and associate indicators.

Learn more at: BIG Data Geovisual Analytics


Figure: Visit SCB Web site for demonstration:http://www.scb.se/sv_/Vara-tjanster/Regionala-statistikprodukter/Marknadsprofiler/Postnummer--och-SAMS-atlasen/


Statistics Sweden (SCB) has provided geographical borders and indicators for almost 10,000 Swedish zip code regions. The above two maps about population show indicator "total population". Indicator about number of females is also available.


Page manager: mikael.jern@liu.se
Last updated: 2015-11-09