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Data Sprawl

http://www.urbanobservatory.org/indicators/database/ If you complain about the traffic during your morning commute, consider the 5.1 million people living in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their average commute time? 120 minutes. For these and other statistical nuggets from cities around the world, visit the Web site of the Global Urban Indicators Database, ...

http://www.urbanobservatory.org/indicators/database/

If you complain about the traffic during your morning commute, consider the 5.1 million people living in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their average commute time? 120 minutes.

For these and other statistical nuggets from cities around the world, visit the Web site of the Global Urban Indicators Database, a program of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. The database, begun in 1995, offers comprehensive statistics on 237 cities in 110 countries, covering socioeconomic development, infrastructure services, transportation systems, environmental management, quality of local government, and land use. Specific indicators range from annual local government revenues per capita (Dubai in the United Arab Emirates tops the list at $14,709) to the median price of 100 liters of water (Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, has the highest at $17.13).

Browsers can access these statistics in PDF and HTML formats but not in spreadsheets — researchers hoping to analyze and manipulate the numbers must retabulate data manually. Nonetheless, the site is an excellent resource for moving beyond national statistics and assessing living conditions in the world’s cities.

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