#1 - Proposal

The 2010 World Cup will be held in South Africa, the first African nation to host the prestigious international competition. Often considered the “world's game”, soccer is an important sport for much of the world that transcends many cultural, economic, and geographic barriers. This project will look for relationships between development and soccer in an attempt to determine a correlation. It will use the Key Development indicators at http://worldbank.org/data and world rankings and other statistics at http://www.fifa.com/ to visualize meaningful connections between characteristics such as health, education, and economic development and soccer on a country-by-country and regional basis throughout the world.

Data Sources

The data presented here are from the World Bank and other international agencies. The World Bank is an international economic organization whose stated aim is to reduce poverty throughout the world. The World Bank is a controversial organization due to its predominant focus on macro economic perspectives and free market monetary policy. Nonetheless, it is a leading and influential organization and does much to generate and gather important statistical information related to development throughout the world. Of particular interest are the World Development Indicators:
“The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the statistical benchmark that helps measure the progress of development. The WDI provides a comprehensive overview of development drawing on data from the World Bank and more than 30 partners.” (source: http://go.worldbank.org/U0FSM7AQ40)

The data presented here are world rankings for men's national soccer teams throughout the world. FIFA is the international governing body of soccer throughout the world. Along with adjudicating the official rules of the game, providing officiation of all games, promoting the game, and hosting international competitions, FIFA creates international rankings and stores statistical information about the game.


  • Perl scripts to scrape, clean, and save development data for each country and different groups of countries from the key statistics pages at the World Bank.
  • Perl scripts to scrape, clean, and save soccer data for each country and different groups of countries from FIFA.
  • Perl scripts to “mashup” the development and soccer data to create interesting and revealing relationships between development and soccer.
  • Visualizations by population, economic figures, life expectancy, soccer rankings, key soccer statistics etc. using scatterplots, world maps, country maps, bubble charts, and others to find meaningful relationships and correlations.