Visualizing the Impact of the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is used every day by billions of people across the globe. The more we understand about this powerful tool, the more countries can leverage it to provide citizens with opportunities to make decisions about their needs and developmental possibilities. The World Wide Web Foundation, founded by Tim Berners-Lee, produces the Web Index, the world’s first multi dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations. 
We’ve partnered with the World Wide Web Foundation and challenge you to use data and design to visualize the Web Index so that we can gain a better understanding of the impact of the World Wide Web. The 2013 Index contains data on 81 countries and includes indicators on gender, privacy rights, censorship, open data, and more. There are various files containing data on the web index. Some sheets contain statistical facts whereas others contain expert assessment survey results. The data includes the overall rankings for all the countries (only for 2013). For informational purposes, we’ve included questions fielded in the expert survey and the criteria used to score them, as well as an overview of how the survey questions and statistical facts are grouped into sub indexes and components.
To what extent can key interest groups (women, low-paid workers, farmers, etc) access information useful to their needs? Are civil society groups using the web to educate and mobilize citizens to take action? What are the social, economic, and political impacts of the World Wide Web? How does the web affect countries with regards to education and awareness? Are there differences in perception of impact through survey compared to statistical data? How well are online rights protected across the sample? 

We’re offering $4,000 in prizes and the winner will be invited to attend a World Wide Web Foundation event in 2014 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the web.   

If you are interested in participating, register for the challenge here


We’ve provided the data in XLS files and have compiled a data set for you to use in the challenge. For the full data set and additional Web Index resources, click here.

UPDATE (12/2/13): We have revised the file for the Challenge data to address some discrepancies. Also, please note that the Primary Data sheet has been removed and can be accessed by visiting

We encourage you to use other open data sets. 


First Prize: $3,200 and one (1) invitation to attend a Web Foundation event in 2014 to celebrate the Web’s 25th anniversary. 

Honorable Mention: $500

Student Prize: $300  


After uploading your entry on Visualizing, click ‘Enter This Challenge" to select and submit your visualization.


UPDATED DEADLINE: Monday, February 10, 2014
Winner Announcement:
 Thursday, February 27, 2014


Gabe Trodd, The Web Index
Hania Farhan, The Web Index
Jan Willem Tulp, TULP Interactive


Visualizations will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Understanding (10 Points): How effectively does the visualization communicate? How well does it help you make sense of this issue? 
  • Originality (5 Points): Are the approach and design innovative?
  • Style (5 Points): Is the visualization aesthetically compelling?


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