The map visualizes GDP growth rates for the world from 1961 to 2011. Positive growth is represented as increasingly dark shades of green and negative growth as shades of red. The timeline makes it possible to view changes in growth from one year to the next or more casually.
Significant historical events are clearly visible in the changes: the Mideast oil boom of the 70s, the Iranian revolution, and recession in the 80s. The disollution of the Soviet Union produces a marked effect on the graph. More easily missed but still visible are the Asian currency crisis of 1998 and the South American crisis of 1999, as well as the recent, persistent strength of China and India. And of course, the impact of the 2008 financial crisis is indicated powerfully when global GDP growth is negative the next year for the first time since at least 1961.