Wednesday 29 October 2014


StatSilk is a website which offers a range of data visualisations and map options and software such as StatPlanet.

These are not free, but can produce sophisticated results, such as this animation of Ebola victims...

A slightly random post...

What is randomness ?
We use random numbers in geography when carrying out geography fieldwork - this is used to identify points within a field area and aid sampling techniques.
I used to do fieldwork on salt marshes with sixth form groups and we would use random number tables to choose our locations. But how random were those numbers ? And did we use them correctly ?

Randomness is an interesting statistical concept.
Does pressing the random number key on a calculator really generate a truly 'random' number ?
There was a useful article on the nature of randomness.

Wind Turbines and bird deaths are a story which has been used to indicate the downsides of this form of alternative energy. Do birds really fly into the turbines and get killed in any sort of numbers ?
How random would this act be ? Or are there particular places that are more at risk of bird strike ?

How about this for another way to explore randomness...

I bought some pack of Random sweets. These are made by Nestle. They contain apparently a random set of strange jelly items. How random are they ? Would be interesting to find out how many of the packs are similar...

Similar sweets may be available in your own country of origin.

For a slightly better explanation of all things random, you should take a read of this recent post by Jess Whittlestone on the fact that we tend to see patterns in everything.

Image: Alan Parkinson

Sunday 19 October 2014

iPad and smartphone apps for Statistics

We are preparing a list of apps which are useful for teaching about Statistics.
This might involve finding statistics such as development data, graphing data, visualising it, or in some way making use of data....
Please tell us about the ones that you use in the Google Form below. 
All contributions gratefully received...